Iraq War Veteran Suit Tepezza Claims Firm News search
Home > Nevada Blog > What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse in Nevada?
Elderly woman defending herself against nursing home abuse | Burg Simpson

What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse in Nevada?

July 1, 2024 | 6 min read

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine whether your loved one is being neglected or mistreated in a nursing home or other care facility in Nevada. Nursing home abuse can be difficult to identify, but a skilled attorney can investigate on your behalf and explain your legal options.

Families who entrust an elderly loved one to a nursing home or care facility don’t expect that their relative will suffer abuse at the hands of those charged with their care. Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is shockingly common in the United States. Approximately 1 in 10 nursing home residents experience some form of abuse.

If you believe a loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect, a Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyer at Burg Simpson can help. Call 702-668-2070 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation at our Las Vegas office.

What Is Considered Nursing Home Abuse in NV?

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, psychological, financial, and sexual. Abuse is not merely negligence; it is often criminal in nature, with a caregiver or staff member intentionally causing harm to a resident for their own benefit (or worse, enjoyment).

Unfortunately, even though abuse is always traumatic for victims, it is not always immediately apparent to family members that abuse is taking place. This is why knowing the common types of abuse, how to spot the signs, and how a Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorney can help is so important.

What Are the Classifications of Nursing Home Abuse?

Seniors are some of the most vulnerable members of society, making them susceptible to various types of abuse. These include:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can take many forms, from outright physical violence (such as hitting, kicking, and shoving) to less overt forms like using restraints unnecessarily to keep a resident in bed.

It is very important to ask questions about any type of physical injury you notice, whether it be:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts or scratches
  • Limping or new difficulty moving
  • Other clear signs that your loved one is in pain

Unfortunately, abused elders are not always forthcoming about abuse when it is occurring—whether due to fear of retribution, shame, or a combination of the two. If you suspect abuse, we recommend speaking not only to your loved one but to the nursing home administrator as well.

We also encourage you to begin keeping a written record to track symptoms, conversations you have with your loved one and nursing home staff or administration, and any other pertinent details. If abuse is occurring and you decide to pursue compensation for damages, these details will be extremely valuable for your claim.

Emotional Abuse

Nursing home residents deserve an environment free not only from physical abuse but also from emotional and psychological abuse, including humiliation, mocking, ignoring, and more. While emotional abuse may not come with alarming bruises or other obvious signs, the signs are often still there—especially if you know what to look for.

Seniors experiencing emotional abuse may show signs of the abuse through:

  • Depression
  • Declining personal grooming habits
  • Sudden, unexplained changes in mood
  • Quietness or atypical reserved behavior
  • Unkempt living spaces
  • Poor eating habits and/or weight loss

Of course, many of these signs can also be symptoms of various medical conditions, such as dementia. This can make it especially challenging to determine if abuse is occurring.

Again, we recommend speaking with your loved one and interviewing nursing home staff and administration to get to the bottom of the situation. Your loved one’s healthcare provider and care team may also need to get involved to determine the cause of their symptoms.

Sexual Abuse

Sadly, sexual abuse is also far more common than most realize in nursing homes. Like other types of abuse, sexual abuse can take many forms:

  • Unwanted sexual acts
  • Groping
  • Sexual photographs
  • Forced nudity
  • And more

While signs of sexual abuse can resemble signs of emotional abuse, such as withdrawal or depression, there are also physical signs to look out for. These include bruises on thighs or around genital areas. Nursing home residents suffering sexual abuse may also test positive for sexually transmitted diseases.

Financial Abuse

While financial abuse is generally less immediately traumatic than other forms of elder abuse, it is still a very real danger. Caregivers, family members, and others may seek to take advantage of their vulnerable state for their own financial gain, whether they do so secretly or by gaining the trust of a resident and manipulating or misleading them.

Signs to look out for that may indicate financial abuse include:

  • Unexplained bank account activity, especially withdrawals
  • An unexpected change to an elder’s power of attorney
  • Missing valuables, such as jewelry

If you notice any of these, you should discuss the issue with your loved one and the nursing home. If you are unable to find an adequate answer, you should consider discussing your situation with a nursing home abuse lawyer.


While neglect is generally not considered abuse, it is still very serious and can do a lot of harm. Neglect is often caused by inadequate staffing issues that can lead to a variety of challenges for elders in need of regular care.

Signs of neglect may include:

  • Bed sores
  • Deficits in bodily/dental hygiene
  • Uncleaned wounds
  • Emotional withdrawal

Seniors are usually placed in nursing homes because they need attentive care that they are not otherwise able to receive. When nursing homes fail in their duty to provide this care, they should always be held responsible for their negligence.

In Nevada, nursing homes are required to put policies and procedures in place prohibiting abuse, mistreatment, and corporal punishment of residents. Abusers may ignore these rules, or the facility may fail to enact the proper procedures altogether. In either case, a Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyer can assess the available legal options and pursue fair compensation on your behalf. 

What Are the Elements of a Nursing Home Abuse Case?

Winning a nursing home neglect or abuse case requires a couple of key elements:

  1. You must prove that the abuse occurred. This requires evidence such as photos, medical records, witness testimony, etc.
  2. You must establish the “standard of care” owed to your loved one. Nursing homes and their staff have a legal duty to maintain professional standards in caring for residents, including appropriate medical care, assistance with daily activities, nutrition, and protection from harm.
  3. You must prove negligence on the part of an individual and/or the nursing home. Evidence must be presented of behavior or conduct that violates the duty and standard of care owed to your loved one.
  4. You must prove that the abuse resulted in damages. These may include medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Nursing home abuse cases can be complicated because it is not always easy to gather evidence, especially if your loved one is suffering from dementia or another cognitive challenge. It is also unlikely that the nursing home administration or staff will be quick to cooperate.

Local law enforcement and/or the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health may be able to investigate on your behalf. You should also consult a nursing home abuse lawyer who has experience holding nursing homes and other facilities accountable for abuse and neglect.

Speak to a Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today

At Burg Simpson, we are Good Lawyers. Changing Lives.® Our attorneys advocate for anyone who is injured due to the negligence of another. When it comes to seniors, we feel even more strongly about our duty to protect their rights and dignity against individuals who would abuse them.

If you believe a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, do not wait to receive the support and guidance you need. Prompt action on your part can help to ensure that your relative is removed from the situation as quickly as possible and your family’s right to compensation is protected.

Contact Burg Simpson to speak with a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Your initial consultation is 100% FREE.