My aunt has been threatened with eviction from her nursing home. What can we do?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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That depends in part on what kind of a senior facility she’s in and why eviction is threatened. People can always be evicted if they have failed to pay for the services of the facility or to arrange for government benefits to cover the cost. In some states, that would be dealt with in a landlord-tenant proceeding, but other states have separate procedures for eviction from senior facilities, such as nursing homes.

Seniors can also be evicted (or moved to another facility) if they pose a threat to the health or safety of the other residents or if the facility can no longer provide the services the resident needs. For example, if your aunt is in an independent living facility that provides services like meals and housekeeping, but she now needs help with grooming and toileting, then the facility can insist that she move to an assisted living facility that provides those additional services. If she’s in an assisted living facility and needs skilled nursing care, the assisted living facility can insist that she move to a nursing home that provides those services.

Federal law has regulations that apply to nursing homes, so if your aunt is threatened with eviction from a nursing home, she has complaint procedures she can follow. Many states also have laws regulating nursing homes and may regulate other kinds of senior facilities as well. Check with local elder advocates or an elder law attorney to find out about the law in your state and what remedies and legal defenses your aunt may have.

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