ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey nursing home in hot water over growing claims of abuse.
CBS2 first reported on one family’s claim of abuse against his elderly mother on Thursday and now more families are coming forward.
Westfield police and the New Jersey Department of Health are investigating some of these cases as well.
“It reminded me of my mom it brought back memories,” Manuel Cruz said.
Cruz was horrified but sadly not that surprised when he saw photos of an 86-year-old resident of Westfield Center, a New Jersey nursing home owned by Genesis Healthcare.
Cruz took his own mother out of the facility two years ago.
“It was a terrible experience she was screaming and crying most of the times,” Cruz said.
On Thursday, Benny Gomez told CBS2 his mother got her injuries in what staff claims was a fall. He doesn’t buy it.
“She tells me the aids are rough with her and they hit her… I just don’t wish this on anyone else’s family.”
After our story aired, CBS2 found more families who’ve had very similar experiences at the same nursing home.
“I showed up one morning and she had a black and blue contusion from her temple, to her cheekbone, and I asked what happened and they said she fell and I said what do you mean she fell? Nobody answered my questions after that,” Russel Schultz said.
On social media, dozens of people responded to Benny’s claims with their own harrowing experiences there.
“I saw that happening eventually I saw that coming,” Cruz said.
Cruz says he never saw physical abuse while his mother was living there, but believes the neglect was abusive enough.
“Every time I’d walk in she’d be sitting in a wet diaper… I would get in and hear her screaming from the doorway. The second you walk into the unit you smell urine all over the carpet,” Cruz added.
On Friday, Westfield Center held a meeting to address the concerns of its patients and their families.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman asked to attend, but was kicked off the property. So she talked to the relatives after it was over.
“They explained there’s some changes they have to make staffing changes… I’ve had no real problems,” Ed Zablazny, a resident’s son said.
“It was a very emotional meeting… I think it’s gonna take time for the building to get back to what it should be,” another resident’s daughter added.
CBS2 asked Westfield Center about these new accusations. A spokesperson said patient care and safety are of top priority and reiterated that no resident was struck hit or abused at the facility.