When it comes to the prevention of nursing home abuse, South Carolina has not ranked highly. In a recent study, South Carolina ranked 50th out of the United States in terms of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation complaints about residents aged 65 and older.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, a local personal injury attorney might be able to help you exercise your rights to receive relief. A dedicated and experienced Florence nursing home abuse lawyer, could guide you through the process, and fight for your protection.
Federal Laws and Rights for Nursing Home Residents
The Nursing Home Reform Act, enacted under 42 U.S.C. §1395i-3, establishes federal rights for all U.S. nursing home residents. Among other things, nursing home facilities are required to provide dietary and pharmaceutical services for their residents. Facilities are also required to provide access to nursing, social, and rehabilitation services.
The Nursing Home Reform Act also gives federal rights to nursing home residents in their facilities. Some of these rights include:
- The right to be fully
- The right to privacy
- The right to have visitors
- The right to participate in their care
- The right to dignity, respect, and freedom
- The right to participate in family and resident groups
- The right to self-determination and to make independent choices
- The right to reasonable accommodations
Nursing Home Resident Rights in Florence
South Carolina codified two laws that afford protections for elders in nursing home care in Florence. The first statute, referred to as the Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities, was enacted in 1985 and provides rights to South Carolina nursing home residents. These rights are outlined in South Carolina Code §44-81-40, and are rights that apply in addition to the federal rights given under the Nursing Home Reform Act.
Some of the rights outlined under §44-81-40 include the right for each resident’s legal guardian to choose a personal attending physician, as well as the right for each resident to be free from mental or physical abuse and restraints, except those ordered by the physician. Residents also have the right to complain without retaliation under §44-81-70. The owners, administrators, or operators or supervising officials cannot retaliate against a resident or their representative if they exercise their rights under the Act.
The second statute that protects nursing home residents is the Omnibus Adult Protection Act, codified under South Carolina Code §43-35-1. This Act seeks to prevent the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of potentially vulnerable adults. Any act of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or any other provision under the Act would be considered a violation of the Act.
Contact a Florence Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
You are not alone. You do not have to struggle with your abuse or fight for your protection by yourself. You have rights. A Florence nursing home abuse lawyer could look into your case and help you determine what options might produce a favorable outcome. With dedicated legal assistance by your side, you could focus less on the stress of exercising your rights and focus on getting better. Start exploring your options, call now, and schedule a consultation.