South Carolina Creates New Department To Investigate Suspicious Nursing Home Deaths

Picture-216One of the more sobering parts of my job is when I tell someone about a nursing home negligence case that I’m working on–  only to get a response of ‘so what’ or the ever compassionate ‘that guy was going to die anyway’.  Of course, death is an inevitable part of life, but older people have just as much right to live as younger people.

For too long our culture has accepted poor nursing home care as an inevitable part of the the aging process.  Regardless of a person’s age or physical condition, they deserve the best feasible care. Cutting a person’s life short due to neglect or abuse can not be tolerated in our society.

With these quality of life thoughts in mind, I was pleased to see an article in the detailing South Carolina‘s new State Law Enforcement Divisions Vulnerable Adults Investigative Unit (SLED) to ‘investigate abuse, neglect, exploitation and deaths in government nursing homes.’

SLED was created by legislators in 2007 in response to a report from a non-profit group, Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities that demonstrated the state’s existing state agencies ineffectively investigated the deaths of nursing home patients allegedly due to abuse.

According to SLED agent Matt Brown,

“A patient might be 105, but maybe he wasn’t supposed to die that day. He has the same right to live as 5-year-olds with their whole lives head of them.”

Since the creation of the SLED, 725 complaints of suspicious deaths were reported to the unit. 474 deaths were investigated and determined to be related to natural causes. 12 deaths were related to accidents.  One of the investigated deaths was related to suicide.  231 of the reported death cases remain open or have yet to be investigated due to time time constraints.

I’m all for any program to help families get answers as to what may have happened to their loved one.  However, in the case of the SLED program, it seems substantially under-funded to adequately investigate the cases pending before it.  The fact that a substantial portion of the reported claims remain uninvestigated– years after they have been reported– is particularly disheartening because many of the key witnesses will likely be impossible to locate given the long lag time.

Abuse In South Carolina Nursing Homes

If you suspect a South Carolina Nursing Home has abused or mistreated your loved one, there are several agencies to report the conduct to.  In addition, you may contact a nursing home attorney to act as your ‘private investigator’.  Nursing Home Law Center LLC proudly represents individuals and families in nursing home negligence matters throughout the country.  We would honor the opportunity to speak with you.  (800) 926-7565

  • State Law Enforcement Divisions Vulnerable Adults Investigative Unit (SLED) (866) 200-6066
  • South Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman, (800) 868-9095
  • South Carolina Department of Social Services, (803) 898-7318
  • South Carolina Attorney General, (888) 662-4328

For additional informtaion view our South Carolina nursing home law page.


0 responses to “South Carolina Creates New Department To Investigate Suspicious Nursing Home Deaths”

  1. Candice says:

    I work at a nursing home and I feel that the people at the place I work do the best they can to give the patients the care they deserve. Do people still pass away? Yes. Do people still fall? Yes. Staffing is more and more limited. State requirements are less and less. Nurses voluteer their time to do things for the patients. I will stay past my shift to do things for a patient that I may not have had time to do earlier. Most of the families don’t come very often. I feel that many although not all of these lawsuits are just people who want to make a few bucks off Grandma and Grandpa. It’s sick. If they don’t like the care we give their family then they should take them home and care for them.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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