Las Vegas
Nursing Home Abuse
Lawyer

free consultation PH: (702) 878-2889

It is difficult to see your elderly loved ones give up their homes, vehicles, and freedom and move into a nursing home or other care facility. There is nothing easy or comfortable about addressing the aging process and the eventual loss of your relative. During this challenging time, you may notice signs that all is not right with your loved one and their living situation. You may begin to notice signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.

If you believe your loved one is being victimized in a Nevada nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers. We have years of experience handling nursing home abuse cases as well as unintentional neglect cases. We will fight for your relative to be compensated for their injuries and help you get them to a safe place.

Contact us through our online form or call (702) 878-2889 to schedule a free consultation.

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Types of Care Facilities in Nevada

Your elderly loved one may go to or live at one of several types of facilities. It is important to distinguish the type of facility and the care they are required to provide. The type of daily and medical care the facility provides can influence your claim, particularly if you based your claim on negligent care.

  • Adult Day Care: These facilities offer care for seniors or disabled adults during the day. They have trained staff who assist with daily living tasks, meals, activities, and medication administration. The employees also are trained to observe the senior’s health and fluid intake.
  • Assisted Living Homes: These are also called homes for individual residential care, residential homes for groups, personal care homes, or residential care homes. Under Nevada law, this is a residential home for several people, which provides shelter, food, daily activities, personal care, limited supervision, and limited health care.
  • Group Care for Alzheimer’s/Memory Care: These facilities are licensed to care for individuals diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. They will have a secure environment to protect adults suffering from memory loss.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (Nursing Home): These facilities offer shelter, meals, activities, and 24-hour supervision and medical care. Seniors may live in a nursing home permanently or temporarily as they go through transitional or rehabilitative care. Nursing homes also may have a memory care unit designed specifically for seniors with memory loss.
  • Intermediate Care Facility (Non-Skilled Nursing Home): Many nursing homes have skilled and non-skilled nursing sections.

If you are not sure of a facility’s designation under Nevada law, talk with an elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible. We will research the facility where your loved one is a resident, determine the type of facility, and confirm the facility is properly licensed under Nevada law.

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

Eldercare facilities owe your loved one a certain standard of care. Your loved one is entitled to a clean and safe living environment, healthy meals, liquids to prevent dehydration, personal hygiene assistance, and much more.

Nursing home neglect arises when the facility does not properly care for your loved one, and your loved one’s health and quality of life suffer. Neglect also can lead to serious injuries and worsening medical conditions.

Nursing home neglect can arise in a variety of situations. In many cases, neglect is due to facilities being understaffed. We also have handled cases in which the staff is undertrained and not qualified for the work they are required to perform.

Neglect typically falls into one of four types:

  • Medical Neglect: The facility staff may fail to provide necessary medical care, including providing the proper dose of medications at the proper time and preventing infections, falls, and bedsores. If you learn the facility is not properly treating your relative’s condition, talk with an attorney about filing a complaint. Also, if you learn your loved one’s condition has worsened or they have been diagnosed with a new problem, contact a lawyer.
  • Personal Hygiene Neglect: Nursing home staff members must help your loved one with hygiene, including bathing, brushing their teeth, and keeping their clothing and bedding clean. If you notice your relative is not being bathed or is often in dirty clothes or bedding, contact a lawyer.
  • Basic Needs Neglect: Your loved one needs healthy, well-rounded meals, plenty of fluids, and a clean and safe environment. If your loved one show signs of chronic dehydration or loses a great deal of weight quickly, speak with their physician and then a nursing home neglect lawyer
  • Social Neglect: Your relative should not be left alone for hours or days at a time or ignored by staff. They should have the option to be included in daily social activities.

Neglect can seem benign, but over time it can severely harm your elderly loved one. If you notice any signs of neglect at the facility, immediately talk with the administrators. If your loved one’s health has suffered, consider talking with an attorney about filing a formal complaint or a lawsuit against the facility.

Common Signs of Neglect

Signs of nursing home neglect include:

  • Frequent infections, including urinary tract infections
  • Bedsores
  • Sudden or significant weight loss
  • Signs of malnutrition, including weakness and confusion
  • Falls
  • Signs of dehydration, including chapped lips, dry skin, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, less frequent urination
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Signs of lack of personal hygiene, including body odor
  • Dirty clothing
  • Dirty laundry
  • Slippery floors

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Neglect, while serious, is not necessarily intentional. Nursing home abuse is intentional harmful conduct toward a resident that results in physical, emotional, or financial harm.

Contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately if there are any signs of:

  • Physical Abuse: Physical abuse in a nursing home can include hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, pinching, slapping, and any other harmful physical contact. It also encompasses unnecessary physical and chemical restraints.
  • Sexual Abuse: Nursing home residents can be coerced or forced into enduring sexual contact or intercourse. Also, elderly residents who are not competent or who are unable to communicate are unable to consent to any sexual contact.
  • Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse encompasses name-calling, shaming, blaming, and harassing residents. It also can include repeatedly ignoring or isolating the resident from others.
  • Financial Abuse: Seniors in nursing homes are entitled to keep their property and manage their finances. Nursing home staff members who take control of a resident’s finances for their personal gain are guilty of intentional abuse. Nursing homes also can maintain predatory financial practices that harm residents.

Common Signs of Abuse

Signs of physical, sexual, and emotional elder abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Unexplained bruises and lacerations
  • Numerous bruises at different stages of healing
  • Unexplained broken bones, dislocations, and sprains/strains
  • Signs of restraint, such as marks around the wrists
  • Broken glasses
  • Unusual self-comfort or child-like behavior
  • Belittling, controlling, coercive, or threatening behavior by a caregiver
  • A caregiver’s refusal to leave family or friends alone with the resident
  • Bruising on or around the breasts or genitalia
  • Torn or bloody underwear
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding unrelated to a medical condition
  • Unexplained STDs or infections
  • Residents fear being alone with a caregiver

Signs of financial abuse often include changes in an elderly relatives’ financial or legal situation, unexplained checking account or ATM withdrawals, unexplained changes in the resident’s will, insurance policies, property titles, or powers of attorney, missing cash or personal property, and lack of medical care or services despite being charged for them.

If you notice signs that one or more staff members are abusing your relative, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Las Vegas right away.

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Your Elderly Loved One’s Rights

Nursing home residents have rights under federal and Nevada law . The long-term care residents’ bill of rights includes the right to:

  • Retain their civil rights as a citizen or resident of the U.S.;
  • Be free from coercion, interference, or retaliation for exercising their civil rights;
  • Be free from discrimination;
  • Be informed of the facility’s patient rules and regulations;
  • Be informed of the facility’s costs and charges;
  • Participate in discussions about their care and treatment;
  • Self-administer drugs under certain conditions;
  • Access their patient records;
  • Be free from unfair discharges or transfers to another facility or room;
  • Have notice of a bed-hold policy and readmission policies;
  • Voice concerns and have complaints resolved;
  • Own property;
  • Keep and use their clothing and possessions;
  • Control and manage their finances;
  • Be free from unreasonable restraint;
  • Have their personal and medical records remain confidential;
  • Not be required to perform services;
  • Communicate and associate with others;
  • Have reasonable access to a private telephone; and
  • Participate in social, community, and religious groups.

What to Do After Identifying Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

If you notice signs that your loved one is being neglected or abused at a nursing home or other care facility in Nevada, talk with your relative. Ask them about what is going on and what needs to change. Ask if they are afraid of anyone in particular. The more you understand what is going on, the better you can fight for your relative.

If your relative’s physical condition requires immediate medical care, do not hesitate to seek emergency services or to ask for a physician at the nursing home. Your loved one’s needs come first.

Once your relative is safe and cared for, talk with the nursing home administrator, director, or risk manager about the situation and your complaint. Minor issues often can be corrected once administrators know of the issue.

Any instance of abuse or on-going neglect should result in a complaint to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Resources, Division of Public and Behavioral Health’s Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (BHCQC). The BHCQC reviews complaints regarding health care facilities and patient care.

If your complaint is against a doctor or other medical professional, you should file a complaint with that professional’s governing board.

Additionally, talk with a nursing home abuse lawyer about your relative’s right to file a personal injury lawsuit, or your family’s right to pursue a wrongful death claim.

Filing a Nursing Home Complaint

You can file a complaint online, over the phone, by mail, or in person. The Southern Nevada Office of the BHCQC is located in Las Vegas.

Family members file many complaints, but you do not have to be a legal relative to do so. Friends, other patients, health care workers, medical personnel, police officers, religious workers, and many others file nursing home complaints.

Each complaint is assessed to determine whether it includes substantial, minimal, or no harm. For alleged substantial harm, the BHCQC begins an investigation within 10 days. For minimal harm, the BHCQC begins an investigation within 45 days. A BHCQC investigator may review records, contracts, and policies, observe conditions at the facility, and conduct interviews with staff members, administrators, residents, and family members.

Investigators determine whether a facility violated a law or regulation or whether an allegation was unsubstantiated. Citations can result in sanctions such as fines, occupancy limits, and license revocation.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

Has your loved one suffered an injury from nursing home neglect or abuse? Do you believe your loved one suffered an early death because of neglect or abuse? Then contact an elder abuse lawyer right away.

Our team at Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers will thoroughly investigate your loved one’s living and care environment and gather evidence of any neglect or abuse. We can guide you through the nursing home complaint process. We also will analyze whether your loved one or family has the right to file suit against the facility or a specific caregiver.

If we find evidence that neglect or abuse occurred and directly caused your relative’s injury, worsening condition, or death, then we may recommend demanding compensation in court.

Elder Abuse is a Crime in Nevada

It is illegal to physically or sexually abuse anyone in Nevada. However, the state has a specific penal law regarding harmful conduct toward a person over 60 years old. Individuals who neglect or abuse a senior may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Nevada. If the neglect or abuse led to substantial harm, then prosecutors will charge the responsible caretaker with a felony.

Let Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Help You

There is no excuse for a nursing facility or caregiver to neglect, abuse, or in any way harm an elderly or disabled resident. If you suspect someone is hurting your elderly relative in Las Vegas, Henderson, or surrounding areas, contact Oronoz & Ericsson Injury Lawyers through our online form or at (702) 878-2889. We offer free consultations during which we can listen to your circumstances and advise you on the best next steps.