South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Services has the duty to monitor and provide oversight to make sure long term facilities comply with safety rules to meet the needs of the residents and maintain vulnerable adults’ health, safety, and well-being.
“It is the responsibility of community residential care facilities to operate in compliance with all applicable laws. Our ultimate goal is for all of our state’s community residential care facilities to operate in accordance with these laws, which exist to establish standards for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the residents they care for. If a facility creates a dangerous living condition, we will take immediate and decisive actions to protect residents, who are always our top priority.”
–Gwen Thompson, DHEC’s director of health care quality, said in a release.
DHEC took emergency actions at four assisted living facilities. DHEC discovered the facility conditions and practices were an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents.
When DHEC inspectors visited Bowles Community Care Home in McClellanville, they discovered no caregivers or staff at the facility. The owner and operators deprived of care, supervision and services to vulnerable adults. How could the owners, operators, and caregivers leave those vulnerable adults alone without assistance and supervision?
DHEC reported indoor temperatures were below 60 degrees. The buildings were without working heat. Inspectors could not determined when residents last ate or received their medications. Inspectors found that the kitchen was padlocked. Medications were “improperly secured.”
17 residents were relocated from two locations of Bowles Community Care Home in Charleston County for these horrific violations. I assume criminal charges will be soon.
Officials declared operations at Reese’s Community Care Home No. 1 and No. 2 pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of its residents. During inspections, DHEC found multiple safety violations. The unsafe practices include infestations of bed bugs and roaches, improper administration of medications, unsanitary kitchens, and insufficient food.
The S.C. Department of Social Services and other state and local authorities helped relocate the residents.