Report Critical of South Carolina's Care Facilities

9:23 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A 60-page report issued this week by the South Carolina Protection and Advocacy group gives a scathing review of some of the state's care facilities.

Without naming names, it gives a detailed account of some of the violations inspectors found.

"He pointed to one of his drawers and he said a roach lives in there," Brenda Stalzer, advocate at the Protection and Advocacy group said recalling an inspection. "So we pulled open the drawer and sure enough it was covered with roach eggs, roach droppings, roach shells."

She says she was appalled at the living conditions she found residents at some of the state's 477 health facilities living under.

Photos News19 obtained show long standing stains on mattresses, insect infestations, rusted restrooms and even one resident forced to sleep on a mattress with an exposed coil.
Another shows nails sticking out of a closet wardrobe.

"I remember the man saying this to me, he was 61 years old and he said, 'I just hope 62 doesn't catch me here,'" said Victoria McGahee, another representative of P&A.

She said she's been on dozens of home facility inspections, and each one is home to the elderly and disabled.

"One of the biggest pieces you see is when you talk to the people there. They don't have a lot of choices on where to live," said McGahee.

The report cites things like a "failure to deliver medications" and "mouse droppings on pantry shelves."

For their part, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement saying "for the past year we have been working closely with providers, P&A and the legislature to improve the quality of life for our beneficiaries living in CRCFS."

You, the tax payer, help pay to care for some of these residents, and for P & A, they say they will continue fighting to protect those rights and giving a voice to those who may have no other choice.

"It's just really important for these facilities to improve," McGahee said.

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