Nevada gets a failing grade in nursing home care

Nevada received a failing grade in a study evaluating U.S. nursing home care, specifically cases of abuse, staffing errors and resident safety.

As the influential population of baby boomers continues to age, the nursing home industry is expecting a substantial increase in the number of senior citizens seeking assistance. In 2013, more than one and a half million elderly Americans lived in nursing care facilities across the country, according to CBS News. That number is expected to grow by 40 percent over the next 10 years. While Nevada residents rely on senior centers to provide exceptional care for their aging friends and family members, they may be surprised to find out the prevalence of nursing home abuse in the state.

The study

In order to gain a better understanding of the level of care given to nursing home residents across the country, a nonprofit senior advocacy group, Families for Better Care, performed a comprehensive evaluation of nursing home facilities in each state. The group reviewed federal data on care facility inspections, complaints and staffing reports, according to a CBS News report on the study. Each state was then given a grade based upon the group's findings. While 10 states in the nation received an "A" for excellent care, Nevada was one of 11 states that received a failing grade.

Room for improvement

Many nursing home facilities in Nevada have room for improvement when it comes to caring for the people who reside there. Many facilities are severely understaffed, and the health care professionals who do work at the center simply do not have enough time to spend with each resident. According to an ABC News report, nursing home aids are paid a small wage in comparison to health care workers in other facets of the industry. This entices many well-trained and skilled professionals to seek employment elsewhere.

Negligence and abuse

Whether a facility uses poor standards when it comes to hiring and training employees, or there are simply not enough employees to attend to all of the residents' needs, nursing home negligence and abuse is plentiful in Nevada. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports the following types of elder mistreatment:

  • Physical abuse: punching, pushing, slapping, pinching or using any other type of excessive force with a resident
  • Neglect: failing to give a resident the attention they need, may result in bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, health problems and unclean living conditions
  • Financial abuse: occurs when someone exploits the finances of a resident
  • Sexual abuse: engaging in non-consensual sexual contact with a resident who is unable to protect themselves

Emotional or verbal abuse can also occur when a worker uses degrading language toward a resident. This type of abuse can cause humiliation, depression or other feelings of despair.

How an attorney can help

If you suspect that a loved one is being mistreated in a nursing care center, you may want to consider contacting a Nevada attorney as soon as possible. Nursing home abuse can have severe consequences, and facilities must be held responsible for their negligent actions. An attorney can help you create a case, receive compensation for damages and possibly prevent further incidences of abuse.

Keywords: nursing home, elder, abuse, injury