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Violations of South Carolina nursing home rights when staff post on social media.

South Carolina – December 26, 2021

Nursing home residents can become victims of social media abuse which occurs when nursing home staff members record videos or take pictures of residents without their consent and post them on social media. The pictures often show residents in compromising positions, such as when they are naked or barely clothed or with signs of physical abuse. Dementia is a common problem for elderly and a primary cause for long term care at a skilled nursing facility. It is a federal violation of resident rights to disrespect and demean a nursing home resident, or violate their privacy by posting on social media without their informed consent.  Residents or loved ones should contact an attorney if they believe they are a victim of social media abuse where pictures or videos of them have been put on social media and violate their privacy.

Nursing home laws.

Federal nursing home laws are in place to protect the residents of nursing homes to make certain they attain mental, physical, and psychosocial well-being while living in a care facility, and address operational and staffing requirements to make certain residents have support they need while receiving adequate care. The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV: of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 created uniform guidelines for long-term care facilities receiving federal Medicaid and Medicare funding that grant all nursing home residents the rights to maintain and receive adequate nutrition, personal hygiene, mental and emotional support, and social involvement. Those who are incapable of daily living activities such as grooming and using the restroom are entitled to personalized care from nursing home staff.  Family members who notice signs of abuse should contact an experienced nursing home attorney for guidance on next steps to correct the negative interactions of staff members.  The attorney can work with a Long Term Care Ombudsman who may have information regarding the case at hand.  Additionally, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addressed social media abuse by sending out a memorandum to facilities outlining:

“Freedom from Abuse: Each resident has the right to be free from all types of abuse, including mental abuse. Mental abuse includes, but is not limited to, abuse that is facilitated or caused by nursing home staff taking or using photographs or recordings in any manner that would demean or humiliate a resident(s). “

Nursing home abuse.

Nursing home abuse covers acts of negligence that cause or exacerbate existing health conditions or place residents in danger. Sometimes resident’s rights are violated unintentionally and others intentional misconduct.  Nursing homes may be liable for negligence in care, negligence in hiring/firing staff, and/or negligence in training of staff, when a resident is mistreated or injured by verbal, sexual, physical, mental, or unintentional abuse.

Hire a lawyer.

Residents or families can sue for monetary compensation for an injury resulting from abuse, neglect, or intentional abuse.  Aside from those actions, state and federal agencies may impose fines and other restrictions on the care center.  Individuals who believe that a nursing home is not treating its residents with quality care and respect according to the new guidelines of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid should contact a nursing home attorney to communicate the concerns on a resident’s behalf when negligence, or abuse is suspected.    Call an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, to discuss concerns if you believe a loved one is being mistreated at a nursing home in South Carolina.

 

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000

 

Sources.

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

SC16-33.Photographs and Videos of Nursing Home Residents (cms.gov)

https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles

 

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