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Photos point to serious neglect in NJ nursing home

Last week's blog post focused on confronting the reality of nursing home abuse or neglect in local facilities. Here in Camden County, most people probably don't want to think about placing a loved one in a nursing home until the possibility is imminent. Even fewer people want to consider the possibility of abuse or neglect happening to someone they know, or to anyone. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse or neglect is a very real phenomenon that may result in a medical malpractice case before the court.

Recently, pictures emerged that showed a horrifying reality for one nursing home patient in a New Jersey facility. The photographs appear to show an elderly patient at a home in New Milford covered in her own waste. According to the patient's family, they believe she may have tried to use the bathroom herself after failing to get an aide to help her. The woman's family claims understaffing is a serious issue in the facility, and that they had spoken with employees in the past who mentioned the home was understaffed and workers could not keep up with the patient load.

As disturbing as the photos may be, more facts about this case have also proven troubling. The home in question has received high ratings in certain categories in the past from the federal government, although it did receive only one out of five stars for various problems uncovered by health inspectors. In addition, while the family has raised serious concerns about understaffing, the company being sued argues that their homes provide an average of 53 percent more nursing staff per resident day than the average nationwide.

The patient's family has asked that the patient in question, who suffers from Alzheimer's, remain anonymous so as to allow her to retain dignity. However, a party to the lawsuit has asked a judge to dismiss the case due to the anonymity of the woman. Due to the complexity of nursing home abuse cases, it may be wise for a family to seek experienced legal help immediately upon learning of neglect or abuse.

Source: NBC New York, "I-Team: Photos Show Nursing Home Patient Left Sitting in Human Waste," Chris Glorioso, Nov. 2, 2016

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