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January 7, 2009

Elder Care: Nursing Home Patient Evicted, Left At Hospital (HI. USA)

Nursing home patient evicted, left at hospital

Florence Ko, 81, says staff wheeled her out without explanation

By Rob Perez

Advertiser Staff Writer

 An 81-year-old woman confined to a wheelchair was evicted from a Nu'uanu nursing home and, with no permanent place to stay, was dropped off at the emergency room of a Honolulu hospital just days before Christmas.

 Florence Ko, whose nursing-home bill apparently no longer was being paid, spent roughly 12 hours at Straub Clinic & Hospital's ER on Dec. 17 and later that evening was taken to an 'Aiea respite home as a temporary solution. She was still at the home as of Friday afternoon.

Ko told The Advertiser she had no idea what was happening and where she would be staying when she was taken from Nu'uanu Hale, where she had lived since July 2007, to Straub's emergency room a week before Christmas, wearing only a hospital gown.

"I wish someone (at the nursing home) had the courage to tell me what was going on," Ko said in a brief interview last week from her bed at the 'Aiea facility.

When she was left at Straub, Ko had no personal belongings except her purse, which contained less than $3 and her cell phone — but not the charger, according to members of her church who have been helping her.

At least one state agency investigated the circumstances surrounding Ko's eviction and determined no elder abuse occurred because she was dropped off at a safe place, a hospital. But the Department of Human Services, the agency that investigates elder abuse, called Nu'uanu Hale's actions related to the drop-off inappropriate and was referring the matter to the Department of Health, which licenses Hawai'i nursing homes.

Nu'uanu Hale was one of six Hawai'i nursing homes last month to receive the poorest rating possible from the federal government in a newly created system for publicly assessing quality of care at the nation's roughly 16,000 homes. The Pali Highway business received a single star out of a possible five.

Abridged

SOURCE:    The Honolulu Advertiser

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DISCLAIMER

Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty.

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