Nursing home abuse is a fear most families face when forced to commit their loved ones to such care. Now two daughters in New Jersey believe their fears have been confirmed after their 76-year-old mother, Rosemarie Terlizzi, developed a horrifying bruise across half of her face.
Alison Scioscia and Debbie Noce said they’d been “trying to get answers” for the better part of a week after discovering the bruises last Friday. The explanation they were given by the Care One facility in Holmdel just isn’t cutting it, reports Brick Patch.
“They believe she hit her face on the fax machine behind the nurses’ station,” the women said they were each told by staff.
Rosemarie has another story, saying, “They hit me.”
“We do not comment on specific matters related to patients treated at our center in accordance with privacy and HIPAA guidelines,” said assistant administrator Terri Rufo in an email to Patch. “Regarding this particular issue, however, we are comfortable with the investigation conducted by the local authorities which concluded there was no sign of a fall or assault with the patient in question. These findings are consistent with our own investigation.”
In the police report, the officer said that it was “unclear” what may have caused Terlizzi’s injuries.
“I inspected the area of injury on her face; she had a large contusion surrounding her left eye, the upper part of her left cheek and the side of her face which extended up around the side of the forehead. There were no lacerations or any other evident injury which would indicate if the mechanism was an assault or fall, or if it was accidental or intentionally caused.”
At this point, it’s difficult to say whether nursing home abuse is actually the reason behind the massive bruise. The Care One Holmdel facility has never had a formally documented allegation of abuse.
The patrolman who wrote the report did confirm that Terlizzi had initially said the hospital hit her. She later expressed confusion at what may have caused the bruise, but she settled on wanting to leave the facility because “they hurt her,” the report stated.
According to a report from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), “female elders are abused at a higher rate than males and the older one is, the more likely one is to be abused.” However, it is difficult to lock down just how many cases of elder abuse there are across the country since many are never reported.
Do you think Care One should be cleared of nursing home abuse, or does this case warrant further investigation? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Brick Patch, linked above]