Family of NJ nursing home patient demands answers after she was brutally attacked

CeFaan Kim Image
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Family wants answers after mom brutally attacked at nursing home
A family wants answers after one patient was attacked and another murdered at AristaCare Nursing Home in South Plainfield, New Jersey. CeFaan Kim has the story.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A nursing home in New Jersey has been the scene of a recent murder and a brutal attack. In both cases, a patient attacked another.

Eyewitness News spoke exclusively with the family members of on one of the victims as they search for answers to what happened.

Audrey Fish, 76, has one bloody eye socket and another that is badly bruised. She also has six stitches on her forehead.

Allen Fish is her son.

"I was angry the way my mother was beaten," he said.

His mother has dementia and is a resident at the AristaCare Nursing Home in South Plainfield, New Jersey.

He said two weeks ago he got a call from the home telling him his mother went to the emergency room.

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"The nurse on the floor, she told me that another resident was in her room, and they assumed she hit her with the cane," said Sonja Holloway-Fish, the daughter-in-law of the victim.

The couple said that after that conversation, no one from the home reached out to them.

Four days later after countless attempts, they said administrators finally agreed to meet.

"We were afraid. We didn't even know what the situation was with the resident that they claimed had did this to her," Holloway-Fish said.

But that meeting left them with more concerns. The couple wanted assurances this wouldn't happen again but there said there was no discussion about any changes to security and that the assailant was still in the home.

"They told us she was still there and were in shock," Holloway-Fish said.

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The couple said they even were told there were no witnesses, suggesting there was no proof of an assault. But on the night of the attack, the nursing home called the police, and it filed a police report for aggravated assault.

This wasn't the first time an incident like this has happened at this nursing home.

Just days earlier, a resident was assaulted by another resident. She died days later.

Several calls seeking a response from the home were not returned.

Eyewitness News reporter CeFaan Kim tried to walk in to get their side in person but was told to leave and that the messages had been received.

"I don't want them to have a dementia unit," Holloway-Fish said. "They're not equipped."

Allen Fish said his mother is a kind soul and a giving person.

"She's always been there for us," he said. "Just a nurturing mom."

In the meantime, the family is trying to move their mom to a different nursing home as soon as possible.


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