Bloom At Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina, is a retirement community that focuses on independent living. The owners market the facility as a place where residents can “bloom” and “live life to the fullest.” Their website portrays the community as an environment where older adults live how they choose, enjoy enrichment programs, age in place, and have fun. A Chicago firm’s slick rebranding helps Bloom portray these concepts with playful photos and videos.
The Hughey Law Firm, however, has successfully pursued claims against Bloom At Belfair when the facility, by failing to meet the minimum standard of care, left our clients injured.
If this happened to you or one of your loved ones at Bloom At Belfair, call the Hughey Law Firm today. We know what to look for in abuse and neglect cases involving nursing homes and long-term care facilities. We know how to fight and win those claims, securing justice for the victims and compensation to pay for their injuries.
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Kandu Capital, LLC and its Bloom Senior Living affiliate operate Bloom at Belfair in Bluffton. The company has five additional retirement communities in Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana. In May 2021, they sold two Bloom properties in South Carolina and one in Florida. This leaves the 60 Oak Forest Road location as its sole remaining retirement community in South Carolina.
Kandu Capital stresses that these sales were part of an intentional strategy. As they explain, the sales allow them to focus on “senior housing” instead of their “50-year legacy skilled nursing and mental health business.”
State and Federal Compliance
South Carolina’s licensing Regulation 61-84 and Title 43 – Social Services Code place Bloom at Belfair in its Community Residential Care Facility category. CRCFs provide room and board and varying degrees of personal service. They meet aging residents’ changing needs, but they do not provide skilled nursing or medical care.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control monitors the facility for compliance with state statutes, guidelines, and any healthcare quality enforcement actions. Reports over the past two years show that Bloom received a $250 penalty for noncompliance with a COVID-19-related Public Health Order. They failed to timely file a weekly visitation status report required from all licensed CRCFs.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Bloom receives no Medicare funding, so they avoid Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services survey and inspection protocols. This eliminates CMS compliance guidelines and random inspections that provide a critical public monitoring resource.
Based on DHEC statistics, eight staff members and four residents contracted the virus during the pandemic. The community documented no COVID-19 fatalities. Current statistics show that 95 percent of the residents received vaccinations. The facility has lifted all pandemic restrictions, including mask-wearing. Visitors now have access to designated indoor visitation areas.
Resident, Family, and Visitor Reviews
Online review sites provide additional insight into Bloom At Belfair’s resident experiences.
Some reviews and comments date back several years.
- On Caring.com, one resident complained about inadequate staff and the brief window for ordering and eating meals. A visitor saw frequent administrative changes as a “red flag.” Another resident complained about resident activity budget cuts.
- On SeniorHome.com, residents and visitors complained about small and dingy rooms.
- AgingCare.com reviewers gave Bloom an overall 2.6-star rating based on 13 reviews. One person commented that it was “dangerous and poorly run” but did not elaborate.
- Google Reviews includes several one-star reviews from a past resident, her family, and a former employee.
When your loved one receives all of their daily needs from a CRCF staff, it is difficult to verify instances of abuse or neglect. Except for Memory Care, Bloom At Belfair’s independent living model eliminates most contacts that often allow adverse treatment. Unfortunately, aging residents remain at risk when they have cognitive, memory, or behavioral impairments, or physical issues such as blindness.
Research has shown that caregivers who commit abusive acts often target those most unable or unlikely to report them. A loved one’s disabilities sometimes prevent them from recognizing or remembering an abusive act. If they understand what happened, memory or communication impairments sometimes prevent them from reporting or explaining the incident.
Unfortunately, so much abuse and neglect occur in long-term care settings that the CDC and other agencies can categorize them based on incident types.
- Physical: Incidents that cause pain, injuries, and disabilities
- Sexual: Any non-consensual sex
- Emotional or Psychological: Abusive acts or words that humiliate or threaten
- Neglect: Inadequate personal care resulting in malnourishment, dehydration, bedsores, overmedication, etc.
- Financial: Fraudulent use of money, property, or assets
Kandu Capital, LLC and Bloom Senior Living operate what is primarily an independent retirement community. All Bloom At Belfair residents live in private or semi-private suites. Except for memory care residents, most seniors assume responsibility for their day-to-day activities. Despite this intentional hands-off arrangement, the owners share responsibility for their staff’s negligence, abuse, or neglectful acts.
Bloom is responsible for resident meals, housekeeping, and any other services they supply. They assume higher accountability for residents who receive memory care, optional personal care, medication management, and other traditional assisted living services. They control and maintain the property, so they’re responsible for injuries due to premises liability issues. Sadly, when your loved one lives in such a closed environment, you cannot always depend on a staff member to tell you when they have sustained an injury.
Contact the Hughey Law Firm immediately if you suspect that your loved one sustained an injury due to abuse, neglect, or negligent treatment at Bloom At Belfair. Our attorneys have represented vulnerable people in CRCFs and nursing homes throughout South Carolina.
171 Church Street Suite 330
Charleston, SC 29401
Phone: (843) 633-6877
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