Q: What are my rights to protect a 55 year old mentally and physically disabled brother?
My 55yr old special needs brother has lived in a nursing home for four years. Prior to that, he has lived in group homes, assisted living facilities, apartments, and two other nursing homes. All were short stays as each ultimately ended with him being asked to leave. He is doing well where he is now. A new management group has come in and told my brother he can move into a group home and has gotten his hopes up. Of course, this is a monetary decision as my brother is on Medicaid and they want his room for a Medicare or private pay resident. I meet tomorrow with the new social worker and want to know what I am legally able to do to stop the new management from encouraging my brother to move into a group home. He cannot read nor write and the management also told him he can revoke my Durable Power of Attorney if I stand in his way, and so he did. He has failed all attempts to live in other environments and this is the only place he has acclimated to and stayed healthy in.
A: There are only six legal reasons for discharge from a nursing home which accepts Medicare or Medicaid. The one this facility seems to be relying on is an allegation that he no longer needs nursing home care. Gather his medical records to show that this is not true. Also show why a discharge to a group home would be illegal as an "unsafe discharge." If you need an elder lawyer to back you up, you will find that there are several excellent elder lawyers in your area. Use the Find a Lawyer function on the website of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.org). Good luck!
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