How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
Nursing home abuse is devastating and tragically, the number of reported incidents continues to increase every year. This is perhaps not surprising, considering that the number of seniors being admitted into long-term care facilities is also rising. Still, there is never any excuse for nursing home abuse and if you suspect that it is occurring, it is critical that you stop it immediately. One of the best ways to do this is to report it. Below, our Daniel Island nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer explains how to do it.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Before reporting nursing home abuse, you must know the signs to look for so you can identify if it is happening. The most common signs of nursing home abuse are as follows:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Signs of physical injuries such as cuts, bruises, sprains, burns, and fractures
- Genital infections, venereal disease, or anal or vaginal bleeding
- Visitation with family or friends is always supervised or are prohibited altogether
- Large withdrawals from a resident’s bank account without an explanation
- Sudden and unexplained changes in financial or estate planning documents
- Missing possessions from a resident’s room
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
State law requires certain individuals, such as caregivers and nursing home staff members, to report nursing home abuse. Even if you are not required by law to report it, you should still do so immediately to stop it. If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you can file a complaint with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The DHEC must conduct an investigation into any verbal or written complaint if it may violate the licensing standards in South Carolina.
You can make a complaint about nursing home abuse anonymously. You can also reveal your identity but ask that the source of the complaint remains confidential. In these instances, the DHEC will not disclose your identity unless they are bound to do so by federal or state law. The agency will assign an inspector to your complaint and the inspector will determine if the agency can assist with the complaint. You will receive a written acknowledgement of your complaint from the DHEC and after concluding the investigation, the inspector will create a written report of their findings and send it to you.
You should then speak to an attorney who can advise you on the next steps to take. If the report indicates that abuse has occurred, that can serve as strong evidence in your claim.
Call Our Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Lawyer in Daniel Island for a Free Consultation
If you suspect that your loved one is being harmed in a long-term care facility, our Daniel Island nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer at Fuller Law Firm can help you make things right. Call us now at 843-277-0013 or chat with us online to request a free consultation with our experienced attorney and to learn more about how we can help.