5 Nursing Home Discharge Facts You Need to Know

Navigating nursing home policies can be a confusing and stressful job. Unfortunately, some nursing homes and care facilities realize this and take advantage. It is important to not only know your rights as a nursing home resident, but also understand nursing home policies and laws. For example, when it comes to discharging residents from the nursing home, the facility may find all sorts of reasons to move the resident, but only some of those reasons are valid. Here are 5 nursing home discharge facts you need to know.

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Evictions and Discharges

According to California’s Long Term Care Ombudsman programs approximately 1,400 eviction complaints are received every year and nursing homes have received 1,811 citations regarding mishandled evictions.

Nursing Home Evictions & AB 1309, gharibianlaw.com

Evictions and nursing home discharges are often done under false pretenses. For example, members of the Gharibian Law team recently weighed in on the use of the Involuntary Hold laws as a loophole to illegally evict residents.

And again, there was AB 1309, introduced to require a reason for nursing home discharges so residents can more easily contest the administrative decision. 

Throughout the industry, the forced eviction of residents, with little to no warning or reason, has been a major issue. The National Consumer Voice compiled a factsheet to address the issue and ensure residents are well equipped to defend themselves.

5 Nursing Home Discharge Facts 


There are only 6 reasons a nursing home can use to discharge a resident. Forced relocation, that is, the facility discharging or evicting the resident against their will, can only happen for one of these six reasons

  • The facility cannot meet the resident’s needs.
  • The resident no longer needs nursing facility services.
  • The resident’s presence endangers the safety of others in the facility.
  • The resident’s presence endangers the health of others in the facility.
  • The resident has failed to pay.
  • The facility is closing.


If the facility chooses to evict because they cannot meet the resident’s needs, then they must document which need they cannot meet. Additionally, they must specify what was done to try and meet the need, and how a new (or recommended) facility will meet the need. 


Nursing home facilities must provide a written discharge notice in a language and manner understood by the resident. In the notice, the nursing home must specify:

  • The reason for discharge
  • The date of the proposed discharge
  • Where you will be moved to
  • Information regarding your rights and how to contest the discharge
  • And contact information for appropriate advocacy groups. 

Policy also states that the resident/their representative must receive the notice 30 days before the discharge date. The alternative facility that will be receiving you must be also available and agreeable to the change. 


You have the right to be a part of the discharge planning. This means that you, as the resident, or your representative, have the right to plan the manner in which you are moved, where you are moved to, etc. 


You cannot be denied a bed if you are returning to your nursing home residence after a hospitalization. The nursing home cannot simply deny you a space because of a stay at the hospital or a long therapeutic leave. They must follow the discharge protocol.

These rules and policies are in place to protect residents and prevent nursing homes from randomly evicting residents they deem “difficult”. Nursing homes can be held liable if they do not follow these discharge protocols.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.