While many nursing homes in New Jersey and elsewhere probably experience the occasional oversight on the part of nursing home staff, what is frustrating to many New Jersey residents is when a nursing home establishes a pattern of serious safety lapses that endanger the home's patients.
Some may think that one nursing home has done just that, given its recent record. Over the past several months, it has come to light that a member of the nursing home's staff had sexually assaulted two patients. After the first patient reported the man, the man was cleared to continue working because the victim exhibited symptoms of dementia and was not deemed credible.
The worker was arrested after a second victim came forward, and the nursing home is now identifying other possible victims and also cooperating with law enforcement.
Around the same time, the family of a well-known community activist who stayed at the home filed a wrongful death suit against the facility. The family alleges that when their loved one entered the facility, she caught a serious infection. The family claims that the woman's treating physician, who worked at the nursing home, did not do enough to control the infection and also did not keep the woman properly hydrated when she was no longer eating or drinking. The doctor also did not order that the woman be transported to the hospital for further treatment when the family requested.
According to reports, this doctor was on probation at the time of this incident and had on previous occasions not provided proper care to his patients. How long he had been working with this particular nursing home is unclear.
Although the nursing home has had some positive or at least neutral feedback in the past, one wonders in light of these incidents whether or not they are indicative of a pattern of nursing home neglect that must be addressed. For those who have been injured or are grieving the loss of a loved one, a civil lawsuit may not only provide necessary compensation, but also give the nursing home an incentive to change course.
Source: Daily Camera, "Broomfield nursing facility has history of staff, regulatory problems," Megan Quinn, Aug. 24, 2013