Facility for seniors may lose license


CARSON CITY -- The state Health Division has moved to revoke the license of a senior citizen assisted-living facility in Las Vegas because of numerous deficiencies found in repeated inspections.

Marla McDade Williams, chief of the Health Division's Bureau of Health Care Facilities and Administrators, said Wednesday that Chancellor Gardens of the Lake, 2620 Lake Sahara Drive, got a D grade after a November inspection.

Williams told the Legislature's Committee on Senior Citizens, Veterans and Adults with Special Needs that the state has inspected Chancellor Gardens 10 times since 2008 because of complaints about the treatment of residents. Seventy-two seniors live at Chancellor Gardens, which is licensed for 150, she said.

She said the facility fixed problems in April but since then has been the subject of additional complaints that resulted in the November move to revoke its license.

According to one inspection report, a female resident was not given required doses of various medications 47 times in a two-month period. Inspectors said a registered nurse told them she found the woman "screaming in bed for help, covered with feces because she had no colostomy bag on and with her diaper soaking wet."

An elderly man needed hospitalization because he hurt his back trying to plunge out his toilet because staff members were too busy to do it for him, another inspection report said.

Numerous other allegations of residents not receiving medication also were found, according to the reports.

"The way they were treated was full-out elder abuse," said Assemblywoman Kathy McClain, D-Las Vegas, chairwoman of the committee. "This is unacceptable. You cannot let our elders go through misery like that."

Chancellor Gardens spokesman Mark Fierro said the company has been working "diligently" to make sure all of the state's concerns are addressed.

"It is important to note that we have been serving Nevada seniors in that facility for more than 10 years and have always had an excellent record," Fierro said. "It is our expectation that when state inspectors have a chance to review our operations and recent improvements, they will be convinced of the quality of care that our team provides our valued clients and their families."

Williams said Chancellor Gardens has had three directors since April. She said a state hearing officer will review the revocation order. If that officer rules the facility must be closed, Chancellor Gardens still could appeal to the courts to allow its operation to continue.

However, Williams could recall no similar case ever reaching the courts.

"We are facing a crisis in our state (over elder abuse)," McClain said. "This will be a big focus (of her committee)."

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-67-3901.