When a family makes the decision to enter their elderly or disabled loved one into a nursing home, the decision is made with the assumption that the facility will provide adequate and satisfactory care. This means that the patient and now resident will receive all the necessary meals and medication, will have the living area regularly cleaned and linens washed, will be showered or cleaned regularly, and will have social activities when applicable, all in an effort to make the patient’s life as pain-free, healthy and enjoyable as possible.
Unfortunately, we have all heard horror stories about nursing homes. Although rare, there are times when a nursing home is understaffed, over-worked, or just tries to cut corners, jeopardizing the health and well-being of their patients. There are other times when employees of the facility are to blame, either neglecting or abusing their patients.
Such was the case for three separate certified nurse aides in Camden, Passaic and Warren Counties in New Jersey, who were all charged last Thursday, coinciding with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by state authorities. A 54-year-old woman was charged with fourth-degree assault upon an institutionalized elderly person after hitting an 87-year-old dementia patient at the Daughters of Miriam nursing home in Clifton, New Jersey. A 55-year-old man was charged with third-degree making terroristic threats and endangering another person after punching a man in a wheel chair and threatening to break the victim’s neck at the Lopatcong Care Center. And a 44-year-old woman was charged with third-degree aggravated assault after kicking the wheelchair out of a 73-year-old woman at the Northbrook Behavioral Health Hospital in Blackwood, New Jersey.
It is not uncommon for victims of nursing home abuse to be coerced or threatened into not reporting abuse, or that they are just not able to voice their concerns. If you believe a loved one may be a victim, you may want to speak with a lawyer familiar with personal injury to learn how to proceed.
Source: nj.com, “3 nursing home aides indicted over patient abuse claims,” By S.P. Sullivan, June 15, 2017