In South Carolina there are discrete methods to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation by a negligent caregiver without endangering a nursing home resident further. A long term living residence, or nursing home caregiver attends to the vulnerable elder population within a facility that is supposed to provide safe and organized structured care and services to its residents.  Because of the increased abuse and neglect at many facilities across the United States, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provided an icon that reveals nursing homes with reported violations of care on the agency’s Nursing Home Compare website.

Resident rights.

The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from nursing home abuse.  A nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury or neglect that causes harm, exacerbates health conditions, or results in an untimely death of a resident. Legal action may be taken against a nursing home based on acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger.  A family should know the steps for reporting negligent behavior, and what to look out for in their resident family member, or loved one.

Abuse,  neglect and exploitation.

  • Abuse can include physical, psychological, or sexual abuse which includes hitting, slapping, threatening, or inappropriate sexual contact.
  • Neglect means the failure of a caregiver to provide care, goods, or services necessary to maintain the health and safety of a resident by providing nourishment, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, or medical services.
  • Exploitation means triggering a vulnerable resident to engage in activity that may be improper, unlawful, or against the wishes of a resident. Improper, unlawful, or unauthorized use of a resident’s money, assets, property, power of attorney, or guardianship that is advantageous to a caregiver is also a form of exploitation.

An experienced attorney may also be able to help with your concerns if you suspect these actions.

Report negative actions.

  1. Make a complaint with the facility’s administration.
  2. File a complaint with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman, by contacting the regional representative to intervene on behalf of the resident in danger.
  3. Contact South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control(DHEC) by completing a complaint form online or calling, emailing, mailing or faxing the DHEC, who will forward your complaint to the Office on Aging.
  4. Contact social services in South Carolina.
  5. Call a nursing home abuse attorney if you feel the situation is not being resolved.

An experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices can help if you suspect a resident is receiving sub-standard care resulting in harm, or outright abuse has occurred.

 

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

 

Sources:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles

https://dss.sc.gov/contact/

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/About/howcannhchelp.html

https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

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