Elder Abuse Laws Highlights
While you don’t need to know everything about elder abuse laws in-depth, we want to share some highlights with you, in case your loved ones who are in assisted living may be at risk for harm.
The South Carolina Code of Laws has helpful definitions that outline what constitutes elder abuse. You should find these to be helpful:
- Abuse can be physical or psychological
- Exploitation means causing a vulnerable adult to do something unlawful, improper or against her wishes
- Neglect is defined as a failure of the caregiver to provide products and services to keep a vulnerable adult safe and healthy
- Physical abuse is intentionally inflicting physical injury, including sexual battery, misuse of medication and/or physical restraint
- Psychological abuse means threatening, harassing or causing fear in a vulnerable adult that results in humiliation, intimidation, or other serious distress
- Vulnerable adult is someone who is over the age of eighteen and has a physical or mental condition that prohibits the person from taking care of herself. This definition includes elderly adults.
Who Is Required To Report Elder Abuse Under South Carolina Law?
The South Carolina laws are very clear about who has a legal obligation to report suspected elder abuse. Doctors, nurses, dentists, coroners, mental health professionals, religious healers, social workers, caregivers or law enforcement officers are some examples of people who are listed in Title 43 – Social Services Chapter 35 Adult Protection Section 43-35-25.
If you suspect a family member is an elder abuse victim, contact your local law enforcement department as soon as possible. As listed above, the officer receiving the report has to forward your concerns in accordance with South Carolina law.
In addition to existing South Carolina laws, the federal Elder Justice Act of 2009 establishes an Elder Justice Coordinating Council that outlines the coordination between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice to support other agencies for elder abuse laws.
More recently, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act of 2017 mandates that the federal government must:
Create an elder justice coordinator position in federal judicial districts, at the DOJ, and at the Federal Trade Commission
Implement comprehensive training on elder abuse for Federal Bureau of Investigation agents
Operate a resource group to assist prosecutors in pursuing elder abuse cases
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 313-2546
South Carolina Elder Abuse Reporting Information
Here are three ways to report elder abuse in South Carolina:
- 888-Care4Us (888-227-3487) to report abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult in a community setting
- 800-868-9095 (for suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities, outside Richland County)
- 803-734-9900 (for suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities, inside Richland County)
We hope you never have a situation where your family members or loved ones are in danger from caregivers. If you suspect wrongdoing, in addition to reporting it to the proper authorities, call the Anastopoulo Law firm at 888-313-2546 for a free consultation.
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