Concerns about conditions and quality of care in long term care facilities are not new. There are continual problems with nursing home abuse, staff shortages, staff turnover, and infection control in South Carolina facilities.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take multiple forms, and is not necessarily physical. A personal injury attorney can help individuals and families in cases of nursing home neglect and abuse involving:
Under 42 CFR § 483.12, nursing home residents have the right to be free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation. This includes but is not limited to freedom from corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion and any physical or chemical restraint not required to treat the resident’s medical symptoms. use verbal, mental, sexual, or physical abuse, corporal punishment, or involuntary seclusion. Physical abuse can also include overmedication and sedation.
“Abuse,” is defined in 42 CFR §483.5 as “the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish. Abuse also includes the deprivation by an individual, including a caretaker, of goods or services that are necessary to attain or maintain physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Instances of abuse of all residents, irrespective of any mental or physical condition, cause physical harm, pain or mental anguish. It includes verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and mental abuse including abuse facilitated or enabled through the use of technology.”
Common signs of neglect in nursing home residents are bedsores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers, malnutrition and dehydration. When patients are unable to move on their own, the nursing home staff has the responsibility to help them move and turn, so that bedsores are prevented.
Emotional abuse can be intentional name-calling, bullying, taunting, threats or distress. It can be difficult to detect abuse, but look for changes in normal personality traits, such as being withdrawn, shy, depressed, hopeless, or anxious.
Sexual abuse is largely underreported, poorly understood and not adequately researched. It is the least acknowledged and least reported form of elderly abuse. is estimated that less than 1/3 of elderly sexual abuse victims over the age of 65 actually report abuse. Along with feeling embarrassed and ashamed, elderly victims of abuse may have difficulty communicating and accounting events – which may interfere with their ability to report the abuse. If a loved one is suffering, it must be reported. So many of these events may be reported if facilities appropriately screened, hired, supervised and monitored its staff.
Elderly adults often trust others to help them make purchases, pay bills, or handle financial matters. Financial abuse can be theft of cash, theft and use of credit cards, identity theft, tricking seniors to give away assets, or threatening them that if they do not give money, they will have them thrown out of a nursing home. Some nursing home residents have fallen victim to fake affection and have been pressured into changing their will, disinheriting their family members.
How We Investigate Nursing Home Abuse Cases in South Carolina
If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in a South Carolina nursing home, you need to report it to state authorities. Then, concerns should be reported promptly to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The Bureau of Certification Complaint Hotline phone number is 1-800-922-6735.
You should also contact us as soon as possible to discuss you or your loved one’s case. We will review your potential case obtain the appropriate documents, like prior lawsuits investigations and sanctions at the facility. Both federal and state laws protect nursing home residents in South Carolina. South Carolina Code of Laws Title 16 §16-3-1050 makes it a crime for certain persons to abuse or fail to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a nursing home resident, or to interfere with the investigation of a report of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you and or loved one was the victim of abuse in a nursing home, you have legal rights. We can help you protect your loved one, including recovering compensation from the facility and other parties. South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer Mark Bringardner offers a free consultation with no obligation to discuss your case. In-person, phone and video consultations are available seven days a week.