South Carolina nursing homes reveal a poor track record with approximately 1/3 of the state’s 190 nursing facilities providing “below average” care to residents, as evidenced by countless deficiencies and serious violations. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services tries to aid in the protection of South Carolina nursing home residents by providing an updated list of providers and any recorded deficiencies, or abuse claims made against them. Last October, the agency’s Nursing Home Compare website added an icon that reveals nursing homes with reported violations making it easier to find out about nursing home abuse citations.
The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights that must include services to: maintain resident hygiene, provide clean and safe surroundings, offer respectful staff interaction, serve nutritious meals, utilize adequate safety equipment when necessary and offer meaningful activities to all residents. If these services are not provided, it is a deviation from the laws set out to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Forms of abuse.
Nursing home abuse can occur during various daily living situations through methods of:
- Verbal abuse – The directed use of oral, written language or improper gestures that include critical offensive and belittling terms to residents or their families
- Sexual abuse – sexual harassment, sexual coercion, or sexual assault.
- Physical abuse – affect control by the threat of corporal punishment, or hitting, pushing or painful restraint.
- Mental abuse – humiliation, harassment, punishment or deprivation, and gas lighting.
- Involuntary seclusion – Separating a resident from other residents taking them from their personal space, or even confinement to his room (with/without roommates) against the resident’s will, or the will of the resident’s legal representative.
- Unintentional Abuse – warning signs may include developing bed sores, exacerbation of conditions like diabetes due to changes in medication, diet and exercise, frequent falls, or poor hygiene such as lack of bathing or brushing teeth.
Standard of care regulations.
When sub-standard care results in harm to a resident, possible legal action may be taken against a nursing home and/or the treating medical professional because acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger are deviations from NHRA rights. If you have witnessed signs of nursing home abuse during visitations, contact an attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, who is familiar with nursing home negligence and they may be able to assist with legal actions against it.
McDougall Law Firm, LLC