Avoiding Elder Abuse in South Carolina and Across the Nation

South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

Placing a loved one in a South Carolina nursing home or residential care facility is a stressful and emotional decision. A decision magnified with the realization that the number of nursing home abuse lawsuits in South Carolina has steadily increased over the past several years as corporate for profit nursing homes taking over local mom and pop residential care facilities. 

Being armed with the right information, as well as the signs and symptoms of elder abuse and neglect may go a long way towards protecting your loved one.    

Common Nursing home abuse and neglect cases include injuries sustained as a result of:

  • chemical restraints,
  • bed rails,
  • abuse and neglect, and
  •  medical errors,

Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect may also face the denial of their insurance claims and other scams as well as unconscionable arbitration provisions.
Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina

In 2008, there were 195 nursing homes and 481 residential care facilities in South Carolina.

Shockingly, the Long Term Care Ombudsmen Program received
6,858 complaints involving residents in long-term care facilities;
3,538 complaints were from nursing homes, and
3,276 were from residential care facilities.

The remaining 44 complaints were from other facilities.

Of the 3,538 complaints made against nursing homes, 277 were regarding physical abuse, 17 were regarding sexual abuse, 238 were regarding verbal abuse and 159 involved gross neglect. There were 420 complaints of accidents and improper handling, 98 surrounding medical errors, 96 regarding personal hygiene and 54 related to pressure sores (or bed sores).

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect is an Ongoing Problem in  South Carolina

In November 2007, two of South Carolina’s nursing homes (Ridgeview Manor in Hopkins, SC and Magnolia Manor in Moncks Corner, SC) made the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ranking of the 54 worst-performing nursing homes in the country.

In 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a settlement in its suit against the State of South Carolina resolving its CRIPA (Civil Rights Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act) investigation against C.M. Tucker, Jr. Nursing Care Center (Tucker Center) in Columbia. C.M. Tucker is run by the S.C. Department of Mental Health. The CRIPA Fiscal Year 2009 Report indicates the DOJ alleged that the State:

failed to implement comprehensive healthcare plans for patients; adequately diagnose and treat Tucker Center residents with psychiatric illness; appropriately prescribe psychotropic medications; adequately manage residents’ pain and suffering; provide a safe and sanitary environment; ensure adequate nutrition and hydration; and provide service, supports, and treatment to residents in the most integrated setting appropriate to their individual needs.

The report further states  that the Settlement Agreement required the State to:

provide reforms in medical, mental health, and psychiatric care; adequate nutrition and hydration; adequate pain management and end-of-Iife care; adequate protection from harm, including falls; and adequate activities and psychosocial programs. In addition, the State and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health will ensure that Tucker residents are being served in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs.

South Carolina Nursing Home Selection Resources

If you are forced are searching for a South Carolina residential care facility, http://www.memberofthefamily.net  provides information about 16,000 Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing homes. You can select the state and review the ratings of nursing homes with regard to the number of reported violations.

The South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging is another great resource for seniors. This site includes a guide to choosing long-term care placement, as well as a link to a Nursing Home Comparing website.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. 866-490-2847.

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