My advice is to visit the facility and try to get an idea of the quality of care. You can go online and search DHEC’s and Medicare’s websites to investigate the history of the facility. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you should ask each facility the following questions:
- Who provides the physician care?
- Is it a contract doctor?
- How often do the doctors see the patients?
Once the loved one is a patient, the family needs to visit the facility very often, be very involved and ask a lot of questions and not feel as if they can’t do that. They should continually ask their family member (the patient) questions about their care, like:
- How often are you getting a bath?
- Are you taking your medicine on time?
- Are you having any problems?
If for some reason a problem develops one of the things that usually gets to the family is when the facility says, “Well you didn’t visit much so you didn’t care.” If you visit a lot then no one can say that because you were engaged in their well-being. And that is pathetic that a facility would say that to a family who’s lost a loved one due to negligent care.
Do these failures or abuse in care get reported to any official agencies?
Certain problems, like falls, are reported. Those reports go to DHEC in South Carolina which is the Department of Health and Environmental Control. So, if there is a fall in a facility the law requires a report be made to DHEC and then they keep statistics on it. You can log onto the Medicare website and review the history of a facility and sort of get an idea of any problems they may have had. Whether the facility reports problems is not something that I depend on in nursing home litigation.
To learn more and to schedule your free case consultation with a Greenville nursing home abuse attorney, call Smith Jordan at (864) 343-2222.