As you may have heard, South Carolina consistently ranks among the worst states in the country when it comes to legal protections for nursing home residents. However, while this may be true, nursing home residents in the Palmetto State still have clear and undeniable rights under South Carolina and federal law. These rights include (but are not limited to):
1. The Right to Be Free from Abuse
There is no justification for the abuse of nursing home residents. Physical, sexual, verbal, and financial abuse are all clearly prohibited, and nursing homes are legally responsible for all forms of abuse perpetrated by residents’ caregivers and other employees.
2. The Right to Quality Nursing Home Care
All nursing home residents in South Carolina have the right to quality care consistent with professional standards. Nursing homes must hire caregivers with adequate training and experience, and these caregivers must ensure that they are always upholding their professional (and legal) duties.
3. The Right to Speak with Family Members and Doctors in Private
Nursing comes cannot prevent residents from speaking with their family members or their healthcare providers. They also cannot monitor residents’ communications. If nursing home administrators or caregivers are trying to prevent you from speaking with your loved one, this may be because they are aware that abuse or negligence has occurred.
4. The Right to Just Compensation for the Effects of Abuse and Negligence
Under South Carolina law, nursing home residents are entitled to just compensation for the effects of abuse and negligence, and families are entitled to just compensation in cases of wrongful death. This includes compensation for current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
5. The Right to Professional Assistance (Including Legal Representation)
Nursing home residents are entitled to participate in their medical care, including their choice of the doctors who treat them. They are also entitled to legal representation, and under no circumstances can a nursing home stand in the way of a resident obtaining legal advice in confidence.