Social Work News

Thursday, July 29

Judge rebukes nursing homes for misleading mentally ill patients

Opinion chides use of scare tactics to stay in facilities rather than transfer to a community setting

A federal judge has issued a stinging rebuke to for-profit nursing  home operators, saying they were using scare tactics to persuade psychiatric patients to stay in the facilities instead of moving into supportive community housing.

The ruling, made public Wednesday, is related to a landmark proposed court settlement in which Illinois authorities pledged to offer supportive community-based housing and treatment to roughly 4,500 psychiatric patients living in two dozen large nursing homes designated as Institutions for Mental Diseases, or IMDs.

The nursing home operators had recently distributed "information sheets" to IMD residents and their families asserting that the proposed settlement "purposefully lacks details" and could strip away protections for individuals who leave the nursing facilities, implying that some may be left hungry, homeless and without care.

The ACLU and other attorneys for the mentally ill patients objected to the information sheets as well as to meetings in which the facility operators urged the patients to object to the settlement.

To read the rest of the article, go here.

Posted on 07/29/10 at 08:49 AM

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