I-Team: Bedridden man in group home told police he had not eaten in days; agency investigates elder abuse claims

I-Team Special Reports

Nevada state office investigates allegations about vulnerable, elderly adults

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A recent allegation of elder abuse and neglect involved a man telling police he had not eaten in three days, documents obtained by the I-Team said. The case began with a report made to Adult Protective Services (APS), a state program investigating claims of suspected abandonment, abuse, exploitation, isolation or neglect.

A team of investigators and social workers is tasked with keeping our parents and grandparents safe, including any vulnerable adult who is entrusted into another person’s care.

The office, formerly known as the Elder Protective Services program, classifies a vulnerable adult as someone who is in the care of another person between between the ages of 18 and 59. A person older than 60 is considered an older person when it comes to the state definition.

In one case, a supervisor informed APS about an allegation at an independent group home in Las Vegas. According to an arrest report for the homeowner, one man in the home was “bedridden and unable to care for himself” and begged “for food and stated that he [had] not eaten for three days.”

The home’s owner, Salome Rosales, is charged with four counts of abuse and neglect of an older or vulnerable person, court documents said. The report said one resident told police the home is full of tenants with “memory loss” who “need additional medical care.”

One resident told police she had fallen off her bed and broke a finger and “did not get any medical attention at the time of the fall,” according to the report.

“Even just one case of elder abuse needs to be considered a problem,” Tammy Seaver, social services chief with APS, said. “I think one of the most important things you could do is to make sure our vulnerable population is protected and receiving the care that they so deserve.”

Last year, APS responded to more than 9,000 allegations involving adults over the age of 60.

Reports to APS can come in several forms. Oftentimes, a family member will report an allegation. Mandated reporters, including doctors, hospital employees, social workers and musical therapists, are required to report any suspicions.

But, not all cases move forward.

“If a client does not want us to pursue, we cannot go further into the investigation,” Seaver said.

Data obtained by the I-Team shows out of more than 6,600 closed cases statewide last year, APS found 565 cases of substantiated abuse, 442 cases of exploitation and 258 cases of neglect. The total number of cases was slightly higher year-over-year from fiscal year 2020 to 2019, Seaver said.

“It’s starting to be talked about more, and people understand that there are problems out there that need to be reported,” she said.

If criminal charges are warranted in Southern Nevada, APS will forward the case to Metro Police.

Rosales remains out on bail with the stipulation she not house any elderly adults.

APS has two phone numbers to make a report:

  • Clark County: (702) 486-6930
  • Statewide: (888) 729-0571
Warning signs of abandonment, abuse, exploitation, isolation or neglect from the office of Adult Protective Services. (APS)

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