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Medical malpractice: Woman accuses facility of neglect

One of the hardest decisions that families in New Jersey must make is whether and when to place their loved one in a residential care facility. While they may be reluctant to do so, many families are often unable to meet the care needs of an aging loved one. Unfortunately, one out-of-state woman claims that the facility caring for her elderly father failed to meet his most basic needs. Her concerns could ultimately result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The woman claims that the decision to place her now 94-year-old father in a residential care facility came approximately 10 years ago. Unfortunately, she claims that she noticed a severe decline in his overall health in the last few years. Beginning to have concerns regarding neglect, she says she had several meetings with nursing home personnel to discuss the man's condition and care. Concerns included lack of access to water or other fluids and an odor that indicated that he was not changed regularly.

However, her concerns were not alleviated, and she ultimately mounted a camera in his room. She claims that the footage on the camera is disturbing. According to her, footage shows an employee entering his room while he was asleep and eating his food. She further states that his clothes were not changed for three days and that it took an hour to discover that he had fallen out of bed and had not even been checked on for eight hours. Representatives from the facility claim that they have addressed many of the concerns raised by the footage, even saying that the employee who allegedly ate the man's food was terminated.

Unfortunately, the family feels stuck -- a feeling with which families in New Jersey going through similar circumstances can likely identify. They say that they have been advised that moving the man could have a detrimental effect on his health. In the meantime, they have notified the state about their concerns regarding medical malpractice. They also have the option of taking additional action against the facility, including filing a civil lawsuit to help ensure that other patients do not suffer similarly.

Source: CBS Minnesota, "'This Is Serious Neglect': Woman Installs Secret Camera In Father's Nursing Home", Jennifer Mayerle, April 5, 2017

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