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Sally’s Bill will prohibit “dumping”

Published on May 19th, 2010

The Boston Channel had an article about a bill that attempts to prohibit the "dumping" of nursing home residents.  "Dumping" is another name for wrongfully evicting a nursing home resident.  Often, nursing homes will dump the residents at the emergency room or worse at the resident’s last known address

Rachel Geller’s three-year crusade to protect nursing home patients may lead to a new state law that prohibits elderly patients from being evicted, or "dumped," from nursing homes. Geller says patient dumping, as it is commonly called, violates federal law. That’s something she didn’t know in 2007.

Geller’s story began in 2007 when she paid Sherill House nursing home in Jamaica Plain $12,000 to care for her elderly aunt, Sally Miller, who at the time had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and was unable to speak. Twenty-four hours later, Geller received a phone call. Her aunt was being rushed to the hospital after suffering a seizure. When Sally was ready to be discharged, Sherill House did not take her back.

The state investigated in 2007 and found the Sherill House "did not provide a safe discharge plan" for Miller. As a result, she spent weeks in a hospital psychiatric ward until her niece found a new home for her aunt.

Geller’s only solace now is that creating legislation will prevent it from happening to another family.

 

 

Joe Pioletti
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