Can families act against elder abuse of loved ones placed in South Carolina nursing homes?

South Carolina – November 28, 2022

Families often utilize the services of a nursing home for loved ones in their aging years to assure safety and health surveillance. Elder people are vulnerable as they may suffer from physical limitations and mental impairment as well as chronic diseases that render them dependent on other people. Guardianships and estate planning are effective methods toward individual protection against ill treatment in the aging years. While elder abuse is mostly reported when individuals remain in their own homes or with relatives, those incidences have not been as widely researched as nursing home residential abuse where long-term care and support are supposed to comply with the residential bill of rights outlined in The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney in South Carolina can assist individuals who have suffered negligence, or abuse against the protections outlined in that Act.

Certified residential facilities and risks.

More than 1.4 million people live in over 15,500 Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes across the nation. The Administration on Aging defines abuse as “the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or cruel punishment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental anguish or deprivation by a person, including a caregiver, of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness” Hundreds of thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited every year, referred to as elder abuse. Abuse can occur in the older person’s home, a family member’s house, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are constantly updating measures to provide access to information on how facilities across the United States are performing in their service delivery to residents living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  These measures are put in place to assure the nursing home resident bill of rights is being followed and that residents are safe and protected in their living environments. Abuse and neglect are clarified in terms of compliance, reporting with the provision of report templates, and outlined examples of abuse with designated severity levels.

Reporting complaints.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is a branch of the agency and advocates and protects the rights of vulnerable adults living in long term care facilities. The Ombudsman investigate complaints and mediate to solve problems on behalf of residents. Reporting of incidents should be completed to each attending physician, family or loved ones, or other responsible parties, and South Carolina Department of Aging, either by phone, telephone, email, or facsimile within 24 hours of the occurrence. The South Carolina Department of Aging Long Term Care Ombudsman can be reached at 1-800-868-9095.

Recoverable damages for personal injury or death.

Residents and loved ones may wonder “Where can I find personal injury attorneys near me?” when the suspicion of nursing home abuse or neglect arises. A nursing home abuse attorney can give concerned individuals some guidance on legal action against abuse, or neglect. Residents who experience abuse, or neglect in South Carolina nursing home facility may be able to recover damages that include:

  • Medical expenses when the actions of nursing home personnel leave a resident with the need for increased medical care, or long-term future care costs.
  • Pain and suffering related to emotional, sexual, or physical abuse that has lasting consequences. Physical and emotional may warrant compensation.
  • Non-economic damages when it can be proven that actions by residential care personnel negatively and permanently affect a victim’s quality of life.
  • Funeral and burial expenses when a resident dies because of neglect, or abuse in a nursing home facility.

 Hire legal counsel.

Contact an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Firm if you, or a loved one suffered injury, or any type of abuse because of negative nursing home practices, inadequate precautions, neglect, or forced treatment modalities.

McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000


  1. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/02/28/fact-sheet-protecting-seniors-and-people-with-disabilities-by-improving-safety-and-quality-of-care-in-the-nations-nursing-homes/
  2. https://www.congress.gov/bill/100th-congress/house-bill/3545/titles
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