In recent years, nursing homes across the country have been the subject of intense media scrutiny and public derision. Countless families rely on these facilities to prove their elderly loved ones with round-the-clock care, medical attention, and social opportunities. However, nursing homes – especially in South Carolina – are mostly for-profit organizations that are critically understaffed with high turnover rates. This unfortunate (and preventable) scenario has encouraged an environment where staffers can abuse, exploit, and neglect their charges. Sadly, residents can’t even turn to each other for emotional support, as the consequential lack of oversight is facilitating resident-on-resident abuse, assault, murder, and sexual assault.
Recently, reporter Nathan Morabito of WCNC released an article detailing the number of registered sex offenders residing in nursing and adult care homes throughout North and South Carolina. Morabito opens his report with a chilling fact: “Nearly 20 sec offenders, including a man charged with raping and murdering two fellow residents, have registered their addresses as nursing and adult care homes in North Carolina at some point over the last year.”
Morabito goes on to explain that sex offenders routinely live in long-term care facilities – even they require eldercare, after all, and that staffers aren’t legally obligated to share this information with residents or their families. However, many sex offenders are ruled by compulsions and are known to reoffend no matter their age. This puts a facility’s most vulnerable residents – particularly those with physical disabilities and cognitive deficits – in a difficult and dangerous situation.
Taking Steps to Protect Your Loved One
In the article, Richard Mollet, the Long-Term Care Community Coalition Executive Director, commented on this crisis by saying, “I would be concerned frankly, as someone who is an advocate…and as someone who is right now family member of a nursing home resident.” He explains that families need to research the sex offender registry before admitting their loved one into a facility. They also need to question staffers if they have any concerns about their loved one’s living conditions, care, and safety. If there is a registered sex offender living at the facility, family members need to know who’s in charge of monitoring the person in question, and what steps are being taken to prevent potential incidents.
Do You Require Legal Representation? Schedule a Consultation Today
Contact the Charleston sexual abuse lawyers at Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC if you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a resident, staffer, or medical professional. Our legal team can thoroughly investigate your case, collect evidence, and litigate on your behalf to hold both the abuser and the negligent facility accountable for their actions.
Contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC at (843) 968-0886 to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.