Resources to Help You Report Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina
Nursing homes are meant to be safe places where you can rest assured knowing your loved one is getting the best care every day. However, this is sadly not always the case. If you begin to suspect abuse or even witness it, it is heartbreaking to realize your loved one was treated so poorly by those you entrusted with their care and safety.
It can feel overwhelming to decide what to do next as you navigate the aftermath of this situation. There are several places to report nursing home abuse in South Carolina. Here are the most common places to start.
Where Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in South Carolina?
Many agencies in South Carolina receive and investigate reports of abuse. Based on the facts and circumstances of your case, you can report to the following:
The Nursing Home Administrator
If you believe the abuse is being done without the knowledge of the nursing home administration, reporting directly to them can provide the most direct path and lead to faster corrective action.
Call the care facility to speak with the administrator and report the abuse directly.
Nursing home abuse can be reported to your local law enforcement. South Carolina law authorizes an investigation by law enforcement for cases of adult abuse in care facilities—specifically in these sections:
- § 43-35-55. Law enforcement can take a suspected victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation into protective custody to remove them from imminent danger for their health and safety.
- § 43-35-85. Willful abuse of vulnerable adults is a criminal act. This felony has a penalty of up to five years imprisonment or if significant bodily harm occurs, 15 years, and 30 years if death occurs.
You can report suspected abuse to law enforcement by calling 911 in emergency cases or the number of your local police department.
South Carolina Adult Protective Services
The goal of South Carolina Adult Protective Services is to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. They will investigate the report and provide immediate, temporary assistance until permanent solutions are made. They ensure a victim’s safety within the least restrictive environment.
You can make a report by either calling 1-888-227-3487, reporting online, or calling your county’s APS intake number.
South Carolina Department on Aging – Long-Term Care Ombudsman
South Carolina’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) is where you can make reports of abuse for residents in long-term care facilities. They address issues of improper transfer or discharge of a resident, abuse, neglect, exploitation, violation of rights, and more. They will advocate for you and your loved one by addressing care concerns and quality of life violations.
To report to LTCOP, call 1-800-868-9095.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)—Health Facilities Licensing Bureau
As the South Carolina DHEC licenses nursing homes, they require these facilities to follow many strict regulations and requirements. If suspected violations of these rules, like abuse, occur, DHEC may take action.
You can report abuse to the South Carolina DHEC Health Facilities Licensing Bureau here.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division—Vulnerable A0dults Investigations Unit
This South Carolina agency only responds to reports of abuse if the facility is operated or contracted by the Department of Mental Health or the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. If it is, then the SLED Special Victims Unit will investigate.
You can report abuse by calling 1-866-200-6066.
It can be overwhelming to decide where to report nursing home abuse. An attorney experienced in nursing home abuse cases will know the best agency to make the report to and help you take legal action to hold those responsible for the abuse accountable. Don’t let your vulnerable loved one suffer any more than they already have—find them expert legal aid to report the abuse.