Avoiding Nursing Home Abuse In South Carolina

When we admit a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility, we rightfully expect them to be treated with respect and dignity. We expect they will experience a quality of life that they might have been unable to achieve on their own.

Unfortunately, though, a series of incidents at a South Carolina assisted living facility have raised concerns that residents of these facilities are being subjected to negligent treatment by negligent staff and even subjected to unsafe living conditions.

Nursing home abuse lawyers in South Carolina understand that while these types of incidents may seem far and few between on the surface, nursing home neglect is an increasingly growing problem in South Carolina and across the United States.

South Carolina assisted living facility under fire for numerous health violations

The Herald Online reported that a South Carolina assisted living facility had been cited for twelve serious health violations in 2013. Seven of those were “Class I” violations that are defined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as issues that present an imminent danger to the health, safety, or well-being of residents.

These violations – which according to the DHEC presents a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm” can result – included the following:

  • A patient’s blood-clotting medication levels went unchecked for eight weeks because of a failure of facility staff to maintain doctor’s appointments.
  • Documentation detailing which medication was given to residents was missing or incomplete, including medication type and quantities administered by staff on previous shifts.
  • Two unsecured oxygen tanks were used in residential rooms.
  • One bottle of prescription medication was found without a label.

In addition, the facility faced five additional Class I violations in June after a fire safety inspection revealed a number of on-site fire hazards as well as faults in the facility’s storage and protection of combustible materials, sprinkler systems, and fire alarm systems. The faculty’s owner told the Herald that these issues have since been corrected.

Signs of nursing home neglect in South Carolina

Most people might associate nursing home abuse or neglect with physical signs: cuts and bruises, bed sores, infections, poor hygiene or dirty clothing and bedding. While these signs can be valuable in determining whether your loved one has been neglected or abused, other signs might not be as obvious. They might not be detectable by sight or smell. You might notice a drastic change in a loved one’s behavior, such as depression, or anxiety.

Furthermore, as we’ve seen recently in South Carolina, it’s also possible that residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be subjected to other forms of abuse and neglect. These can include giving residents improper dosages of medication or the incorrect medication altogether, a failure to label bottles of prescription medication, and a failure to help residents maintain routine doctor’s appointments.

The facility in question has promised to clean up its act and provide its residents with a safer living environment. We firmly believe nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the state should take these DHEC violations as a strict warning that nursing home abuse and neglect will not be tolerated in South Carolina.

What to do when you suspect abuse in an assisted living facility or nursing home in South Carolina?

If you suspect your loved one has been injured as a result of neglect or abuse at an assisted living facility, contact McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC today to discuss your legal options with a nursing home abuse lawyer in South Carolina. We protect victims of South Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect in Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville & throughout the state.