COVID-19 has greatly affected thousands of nursing home residents throughout New Jersey. With COVID-19 having a particularly strong impact on the elderly and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, nursing homes are not providing the proper care and attention needed by these at-risk individuals. According to NJ.com, over 5,000 people that were in long-term care at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic are now deceased. This loss consists of the elderly, decorated soldiers, and patients with dementia, which makes up more than 40% of the coronavirus deaths in New Jersey. In addition to nursing home residents, many nursing home employees have also suffered from COVID-19. As of May 11, 2020, nearly 9,000 nursing home employees tested positive for COVID-19, and 89 of them have died. With statistics like these, it’s clear that nursing homes are not doing everything they can in order to keep their residents healthy and safe.
The unfortunate truth is that nursing homes should be prepared for situations like these and they have not been. The State Health Department did not announce that it would conduct widespread testing of nursing home residents until early May. Many nursing homes have left residents sick and suffering, while others passed away before being adequately cared for. Despite the risk nursing home residents face, state-inspectors did not begin making on-site inspections until April 16, 2020, despite New Jersey reporting its first death caused by COVID-19 thirty-six (36) days prior. Additionally, the State also neglected to begin on-site inspections until it was reported that one (1) nursing home created a “makeshift morgue” that stored seventeen (17) corpses.
Since the beginning of COVID-19’s effect on New Jersey residents, 1-in-13 individuals in long-term care facilities have since passed away. Additionally, many families are extremely concerned for the wellbeing of their relatives and loved ones who are still residing in nursing homes today. In many cases residents are becoming extremely ill, and oftentimes dying, while their families are left in the dark. With many nursing homes unprepared and understaffed for a virus of this magnitude, many sick and at-risk residents have essentially fallen by the wayside. For example, 80% of the residents at Atrium Post Acute Care at Park Ridge were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 by mid-April; however, only about a dozen residents were tested for COVID-19. By April 16, 2020, 33 residents died, 19 of those 33 residents tested positive for COVID-19, and 22 other living residents, who also tested positive for COVID-19, were transferred to another facility. Amid facilities being locked down to visitors, the families of the residents who tested positive for COVID-19 were left uninformed of their loved one’s diagnosis.
Many nursing facilities are failing to meet their minimum standards. Not only are residents not being cared for at the level they deserve, residents are actually being neglected during this pandemic, a time in which the health of their residents needs to be prioritized more than ever. Additionally, the family members of nursing home residents are being neglected as well. In many cases, nursing homes have failed to provide updates to residents’ families regarding the health of their loved ones, until their loved ones are already sick. This issue has grown to the point where the State Department of Health has directed nursing home facilities on how often and when they must get in contact with the families of residents. While this is an important step in the right direction, it’s happening far too late, as many nursing home residents have already passed as a result of nursing home negligence.
If one of your relatives or loved ones has been negatively impacted by the negligence or lack of transparency at a New Jersey nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we know how important family is and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Although we understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, it’s the best way available for you to be justly compensated. Demand Justice today by calling 732-888-8888 or emailing us at email@example.com to get us on your side so we can start building a case and help you in any way possible.