What is elder abuse?
South Carolina law states that elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in harm or loss to an older person. It is generally divided into five categories:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Psychological abuse
- Neglect, including self-neglect
How common are cases of elder abuse?
No one knows for sure. Elder abuse is often referred to as a “silent problem” because so many incidents go unreported, because the older person is either afraid to say something or is incapable of doing so. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that 1 in 10 older individuals are victims of abuse or neglect, but only 1 in 5 or fewer cases are reported. The abuse could take place anywhere – in a nursing home, private home or in any other setting.
Do I have to be a friend or family member to report suspected elder abuse?
South Carolina law states that anyone who suspects that a vulnerable adult is being or has been abused, neglected, or exploited should report it. A person who reports the alleged abuse and acts in good faith is immune from criminal or civil prosecution and is not responsible for investigating the abuse.
Who do I contact if I think that an older person is being abused in South Carolina?
There are several sources, depending on where the suspected abuse is taking place. The elder abuse attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm can also counsel you on your loved one’s legal options when his or her rights are being violated.
- If the abuse occurs in a facility, report it to the State Long Term Care Ombudsman by calling (800) 868-9095.
- Suspicions about abuse in facilities run by the state Department of Mental Health or S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs must be reported to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) at (800) 200-6066.
- If the alleged abuse occurs in a private home or community, call your local Department of Social Services or the state Department of Social Services at (803) 898 -7601.
Have You or an Elderly Loved One Been Abused? Call Our Nursing Home Attorneys Today
Elder abuse and neglect is a crime. The compassionate attorneys at the Louthian Law Firm in South Carolina want to help restore the dignity, safety and basic rights that you or a loved one have lost as a result of elder abuse in the Palmetto State. Call our lawyers toll free at (803) 454-1200 or fill out our confidential online form.
Based in Columbia, our lawyers also serve Charleston, Spartanburg, Summerville, Rock Hill, Mount Pleasant, Aiken, Hilton Head Island, Anderson, Greenville and all cities and communities in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield, Sumter, Florence, Myrtle Beach, Irmo, Columbia, Spartanburg, Kershaw, Lee, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Greenville, Lancaster, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Saluda and Richland counties.