Room in a Retirement Home: Rights and Bites

It is difficult to think about it, but it comes a time, when it is the only imaginable solution, to start searching for a place in a retirement home – whether for themselves or for older relatives. The expectation of being “kicked out” of the retirement home is not exactly what is generally been thought about. But even it sounds unreal, dismissals can absolutely happen. 

The background is the following case:  Oldenburg Higher Regional Court, judgement of 28.05.2020, file number 1 U 156/19.

The Case 

An old lady started getting really strong dementia symptoms at her retirement home in Osnabrück in 2015. After the senior citizen was medicated, having to stay in a hospital, she was much more restless than before. The retirement home declared her dismissal and demanded the senior woman to move out. The home management claimed that the old lady was disturbing the peace of the other patients considerably, constantly wandering around, going into the rooms of other residents, opening doors and windows and not watching for her intimate hygiene. She was aggressive and also hurted the nursing staff, kicked them and other residents and hitting them with her walker. It was in addition declared that she no longer eats or drinks properly and she was considered a danger to herself and others. The family of the woman were shocked by these declarations and asked a tribunal to decide if this dismissal was to be considered lawful. 

The Tribunal Decision

The Regional Court of Osnabrück dismissed the action for eviction of the retirement home. The dismissal is invalid.The Senate confirmed the decision of the Regional Court. A contract with the retirement home could only be terminated by the home for good cause (§ 12 of the Wohn- und Betreuungsvertragsgesetz – WBVG)

This is not the case here. In the present case, it must be taken into account that the home was already aware of the old lady’s dementia when she moved in. Certain abnormalities of behavior were therefore to be accepted in the foreseeable future. The senior lady may now keep her room and keep living in the same retirement home. 

Are you or your elder ones facing similar problems and you would like to talk to a lawyer about that? Contact us. We are here for you.

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Room in a Retirement Home: Rights and Bites

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