How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Apr 25, 2017 in Nursing Home News
Has your elderly loved one suffered abuse at a nursing home in South Carolina?
There are many forms of abuse that occur at nursing homes:
- Financial abuse – This is when someone steals a resident's money, property or assets. In some cases, abusers force residents to sign over financial accounts or power of attorney.
- Physical abuse – This includes any form of physical violence against nursing home residents, such as hitting, kicking, punching, shoving or slapping.
- Neglect – There are a variety of examples of neglect, from social isolation, malnutrition and dehydration to withholding medications and failing to assist residents with personal hygiene.
- Sexual abuse – This refers to sexual harassment or assault of nursing home residents. Sometimes the abusers post pictures or videos of the abuse to social media.
Proper reporting of nursing home abuse can help protect your loved one and ensure that those responsible for the abuse are held accountable.
There are many ways to initiate a complaint for nursing home negligence or abuse in South Carolina:
Contact the Facility
This is the fastest way to resolve the situation, assuming administrators make a good faith effort to work with you, as they are required to do by law.
However, if there is rampant abuse at the nursing home, you are more likely to encounter administrators who are difficult to work with. They may get defensive and seem uninterested in helping you to determine what happened and how to hold the abuser(s) accountable.
File a Complaint with the SC Long-Term Care Ombudsman
If you cannot get anywhere by contacting the nursing home, file a complaint with the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Contact the representative assigned to your area of the state.
One of the office's many goals is to intervene to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation of seniors and vulnerable adults.
Contact the Department of Health and Environmental Control
You can also 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, which will forward your complaint to the Office on Aging.
Call the Department of Social Services
Under the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, the Adult Protective Services division of South Carolina's Department of Social Services is tasked with ensuring that elderly adults are safe.
That is why you can contact this division to report claims of nursing home abuse or neglect. Find contact information by clicking on the county where the nursing home facility is located.
Gather Evidence of Abuse
Before or after you submit your complaint, begin collecting evidence documenting the abuse your loved one suffered.
Create a written record of events, including:
- Dates, times and locations of instances of abuse or neglect
- How the abuse has affected your loved one
- Perpetrators of the abuse
- Witnesses and their accounts of what happened and conditions at the facility
- Concerns you have expressed to nursing home staff
You should also take pictures of key evidence, including the location where the abuse occurred and your loved one's injuries.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
The attorneys at our firm have many years of combined experience with nursing home abuse claims. We can help you in every step of the process, from contacting the facility to investigating the complaint and filing a lawsuit if necessary.