Does South Carolina have specific laws to protect nursing home residents from abuse?

South Carolina – March 7, 2022

Residents of nursing homes in the State of South Carolina have rights under South Carolina Department of Health Guidelines and through state law. This framework follows the federal laws laying out nursing home standards of care and safety issues, including violations that could cause penalties and fines to care providers in the state. The South Carolina Department of Health mandates include institutional guidelines to protect the safety and well-being of their residents. These guidelines align with the Federal Resident Bill of Rights under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 are the primary reference for these protections.

Consult with a nursing home abuse attorney about additional South Carolina protections that include:

· S.C. Code Section 44-81-10.

Each resident, or the resident’s representative must be given by the facility a written and oral explanation of the rights, grievance procedures, and enforcement provisions of South Carolina law at the time of admission to a long-term care facility.

· Alzheimer’s Special Care Disclosure Act.

A nursing home, community residential care facility, or day care facility for adults licensed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control which offers to provide or provides an Alzheimer’s special care unit, or program must include in its policies and procedures and disclose to the responsible party seeking a placement within the Alzheimer’s special care unit or program, the form of care or treatment provided that distinguishes it as being especially applicable to or suitable for persons with Alzheimer’s disease. The information that distinguishes the form of care or treatment shall include criteria for admission, transfer, and discharge; care planning; staffing patterns; staff training; physical environment; resident and participant activities; family role in care; and unique costs to the resident or participant associated with specialized service delivery.

· The Omnibus Adult Protection Act as S.C. Code Section 43-35-5, et seq.

In accordance with The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV: of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, residents are entitled to receive:

  • 1. Medically related social services,
  • 2. Proper health care and dental care,
  • 3. Accurate dispensing, receipt, and administration of medicines,
  • 4. Dietary services that meet daily nutritional needs,
  • 5. Services for mentally ill and special needs residents,
  • 6. Personal, material, and financial privacy when requested,
  • 7. Treatment that does not violate a resident’s personal dignity.

Nursing home residents have rights under federal and state law, and attorneys at McDougall Law Firm can support those rights in legal actions necessary for families and individuals who have suffered personal injury, or harm. When deviations in standards of care occur, complaints can be made against a Nursing Home, or any other Medicare Certified healthcare facility by contacting the Bureau of Certification Complaint Hot Line at 1-800-922-6735.

Seek legal counsel.

Residents or loved ones who are aware of, or suffer harm directly related to a negative nursing home encounter exacerbating an existing health condition, or placing a South Carolina nursing home resident in danger should speak to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney at the McDougall Law Firm.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons

Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000



1. https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t44c081.php

2. https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/docs/Health/docs/hlalzheimer.pdf

3. https://scdhec.gov/health-regulation/health-facility-regulations-licensing-con/medicaid-medicare-certification-1

4. https://www.scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/Regulations/R.61-17.pdfd

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