Can a Nursing Home Evict a Patient for “Being Difficult?”

attorney south carolina nursing home neglect

Is your loved one being threatened with eviction from a nursing home because he or she is a so-called “difficult” patient? Classifying residents as difficult patients is something nursing homes have been known to do when they are in a situation they do not wish to deal with, and want to evict a resident. There are many laws governing the treatment of residents in nursing homes in South Carolina and federally, and discharging or transferring patients in all but the most dire circumstances is just not permitted.

When Is Nursing Home Eviction Allowed?

If you have a loved one with dementia, having them be evicted for being difficult to care for can be your worst fear. However, this cannot be a cause of eviction from a nursing home. It is very important to understand that somebody can only be evicted from a nursing home for one of six reasons.  Those six reasons are:

  • If the resident does not pay the bill;
  • If the resident no longer needs nursing home care;
  • If the resident’s needs cannot be met in a nursing home;
  • If the resident’s presence in the nursing home endangers the safety of others;
  • If the resident’s presence in the nursing home endangers the health of others; or
  • If the nursing home is going out of business.

The nursing home may try to claim that being difficult is grounds for eviction under reason number three, but that only applies if a person’s needs cannot be generally met in a nursing home. For example if the resident needs to be in an infectious disease clinic or in a psychiatric ward. The whole purpose of a nursing home is to help elderly people with physical and mental problems, so in some ways, all of the residents could be considered “difficult.”  That alone is not a reason for them to be evicted.

The Eviction Process

If a nursing home does decide to evict your loved one, they must give at least 30 days written notice of the proposed eviction date, and the written notice must list all of the reasons for the eviction and facts in support of the stated reasons.  Additionally, the notice must provide the telephone numbers for the South Carolina agency that inspects or licenses nursing homes. There must also be instructions for appealing the eviction decision. If you or a loved one requests an appeal, there will be a hearing, most likely held in the nursing home by a state official. Although informal, if this is happening to you or your loved one, it is a good idea to have attend the hearing with a lawyer.

Your focus at the eviction hearing should be proving why you or your loved one is in fact appropriate for the nursing home. Many times a nursing home will request that you just be transferred to a different nursing home. This works in your favor, as if you are appropriate and “helpable” for one nursing home, there is no good argument that you are not able to have your needs met in another. The fact of the matter is, many times when there is a problem between a nursing home and a resident, it is because the nursing home did not properly create a plan of care, as required by law.  Instead of remedying that, the nursing home attempts to just evict the resident.

Call David Aylor Law Offices Today

If you or your loved one is being threatened with eviction from a nursing home, or are going into an eviction hearing, you are likely very stressed out by this. We understand, and zealously pursue nursing home neglect cases similar to yours on a frequent basis. Call or email us today for a complimentary, no obligation consultation and let us see how we can help you.