Miltenberg: “NJ Woman Escaped Nursing Home 4 Times Amid Coronavirus Crisis: Suit,”


She went missing from NJ nursing home repeatedly amid coronavirus crisis. Then she tested positive. An alarm blared as Patricia Landers, who suffers from dementia, opened the door of a Florham Park assisted living center shortly before midnight and walked out, wearing her bathrobe. The facility did not call police for 39 minutes. That lag time gave Landers a chance to get far away. After a four-hour search, police found her about 3 miles from the facility, in neighboring Madison. Family members said in an interview with and the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey that she told them she had been frightened the entire time. They said she had bruises from falling. The family filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Brookdale Florham Park and its parent company, one of the largest operators of long-term senior living facilities in the nation, alleging the home didn’t provide the level of care it promised for residents with dementia. The lawsuit comes amid a pandemic that has exposed weaknesses in the elder care system, raising questions about staffing levels at long-term care facilities and complaints about inadequate communication with family members … Brookdale reported to the state a total of 310 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths in 10 facilities in New Jersey as of Wednesday, May 13. Its Florham Park campus has had 10 cases, a relatively low number, and no deaths. There have been almost 27,000 COVID-19 cases at long-term care facilities in the state and more than 5,000 fatalities. “I will say that we work hard to maintain an open and constructive dialogue with families about their loved one and the best way that we can work together to help each resident live their best life in their community,” wrote Brookdale’s spokeswoman, Heather Hunter. Andrew Miltenberg and other attorneys representing Landers’ family said in court papers that the Florham Park facility was “consistently understaffed, and the staff that was there, was undertrained and either unwilling or incapable of providing the requisite level of care promised by Brookdale and required by Ms. Landers’ conditions.”

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