WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey man wants to know how his elderly mother received disturbing injuries while at a nursing home facility in Westfield.
Local police and the New Jersey Health Department are now investigating, reports CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
“I just don’t wish this on anyone else’s family,” said Benny Gomez. “It’s disgusting.”
Benny Gomez struggles to even look at a recent series of horrific photos showing his 86-year-old mother.
She’s been living in a Westfield, N.J., nursing home for over a year. Last week, Westfield Center, which is owned by Genesis Healthcare, called Benny to say his mother is going to a hospital.
“All we know there was some kind of incident, very vaguely described, and the result of that is what these photos depict,” said attorney Marulyn Barnosa.
Those “results” include a broken nose, double fractures to her face and stitches.
A spokesperson for Westfield Center told CBS2 an incident at the facility resulted in a fall with injuries.
Benny wants to know how a fall only bruised his wheelchair-bound mothers’ face.
“She doesn’t have a single bruise anywhere on her body,” he said.
“Mrs. Gomez, unfortunately, has not been able to speak up to now,” said Barnosa. “So it’s very difficult to actually have a conversation given the extent of her injuries.”
Benny says these aren’t his mothers’ first mysterious injuries since moving to the facility, which has a 3 out of 5 star rating from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“She tells me the aides are rough with her and they hit her,” says Benny. “I bring it to their attention and they always have an excuse.”
In a statement, Westfield Center says, in part, “while the photos are difficult to see, no resident was struck, hit or abused” and “injuries from a fall may appear to be something that they are not.”
“I mean, to put your trust in a facility that promised they would take care of her and to go to the hospital and see your mother in these conditions is just unexplainable, it really is unexplainable,” said Benny.
Westfield police and the New Jersey Health Department are looking into this case but won’t comment yet.
CBS2 asked Westfield Center to explain further how Benny’s mother got those injuries. A spokeperson told us getting into specifics would be a violation of her privacy:
The care, safety and well-being of our patients, residents and staff is our priority at Westfield Center. The Center has a zero tolerance policy with regard to abuse and when we receive a report from any source, be it patient, family or employee, we contact the authorities and the department of health immediately. Earlier in the week, there was in fact an incident at the facility involving a resident that resulted in a fall with injuries. The information as it has been portrayed in the media and on social media is grossly inaccurate. While the photos are difficult to see, no resident was struck, hit or abused. We cannot get into the specifics of the diagnosis of this patient, however injuries from a fall may appear to be something that they are not. In order to protect the privacy of the individual involved in this case, we cannot comment further on any specifics. We remain committed to the safety of our patients/residents and to providing compassionate quality care.