June 14th, 2016
Forced Exodus: Avalon Care Center Hit with 29 Citations for Illegally Evicting Nursing Home Residents
For more information contact:
Anthony Chicotel, Staff Attorney, CANHR
(415) 974-5171 firstname.lastname@example.org
Modesto -- Avalon Care Center, a nursing home in Modesto, was recently assessed a whopping 29 citations by the State Department of Public Health (DPH) for engaging in a reprehensible and systematic illegal eviction program to force out undesirable “long-term” residents. The facility was in the process of being sold in 2015 when word spread that the new owner wanted to “convert the facility to a sub-acute setting” and “didn’t want long-term care residents.”
Avalon Care Center staff began to purge all residents considered long-term. At least 29 residents were evicted from July through December 2015. None of the residents were provided the legally required written discharge notice, properly prepared and oriented before being moved, given proper discharge planning, or informed of their right to stay at Avalon regardless of the sale. As a result of the haphazard and unnecessary discharges, most of the residents suffered negative health and psychological consequences.
Among the mass eviction lowlights described by the DPH citations:
- A male resident was discharged to an out of state nursing home over 900 miles away. On the morning of the flight to his new home, the resident was not given his medications, his bags were not packed, and he had not eaten. He was not given any disposable briefs despite being incontinent. He cried on the plane and sat in a wet and soiled brief for twelve hours. When the resident arrived, he had an excoriated buttocks and perineum.
- A female resident was moved to a different nursing home after living at Avalon for 12 years. The resident stated that she felt she "didn't have a choice" and had to leave. Upon arriving at the new nursing home, she became depressed and "did nothing but cry." She engaged in a hunger strike, losing nine percent of her body weight in one month. Eventually she was readmitted to the facility.
- A male resident was discharged to his pregnant daughter's mobile home despite multiple physical disabilities and requiring two people to assist him. Three months later, the resident had declined, was riddled with bedsores, and his daughter was overwhelmed, stating "we can't do this anymore."
In addition, several residents were sent to other nursing homes with only a day’s notice or sent to facilities that were farther away from family and friends. Many of the discharged residents expressed sentiments that they had been “kicked out” or very poorly treated. The continuity of their care was shattered and their trust broken.
Pat McGinnis, CANHR’s Executive Director, stated “there is an epidemic of illegal and unsafe evictions from nursing homes throughout the state and this is perhaps the worst case I have ever seen. Nursing homes increasingly focus on higher paying therapy residents at the expense of poorer long-term or 'custodial' residents. When residents threaten this profit-making model, they all too often are thrown out illegally.”
The forced exodus at Avalon came just months after a similar mass eviction from another Modesto nursing home, Vintage Faire Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and follows an explosion of illegal nursing home evictions throughout the state with recent cases in Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Santa Cruz, and Richmond.
“The State’s Health and Human Services Agency does a terrible job of protecting residents from illegal evictions,” said CANHR Staff Attorney Tony Chicotel. “Nursing homes have learned that it is cheap and easy to evict problem residents and that the laws to ensure resident discharges are careful and safe can be entirely ignored.”
Read Recent DPH Citations of Illegal Evictions
About CANHR: California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), is a statewide nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving the choices, care and quality of life for California’s long term care consumers. Through direct advocacy, community education, legislation and litigation it has been CANHR’s goal to educate and support long term care consumers and advocates regarding the rights and remedies under the law, and to create a united voice for long term care reform and humane alternatives to institutionalization.
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR)
650 Harrison Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94107