Nursing home attack: Family demands answers after mom attacked by another patient at AristaCare in South Plainfield, NJ

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (WABC) — A nursing home in New Jersey was the site of a recent murder and brutal attack. In both cases, the patient attacked the other.

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

Audrey Fish, 76, has one eye socket bloodshot and the other badly bruised. She also has six stitches on her forehead.

Allen Fish is her son.

“The way my mother was beaten made me angry,” he said.

His mother has dementia and resides at AristaCare Nursing Home in South Plainfield, New Jersey.

He said he got a call from home two weeks ago saying his mother had gone to the emergency room.

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“The nurse on the floor told me there was another resident in her room and they believed she had hit her with a cane,” said Sonja Holloway-Fish, the victim’s daughter-in-law.

The couple said that after this conversation, no one from the household addressed them.

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

“We were scared. We didn’t even know what the situation was with the resident that they claimed did this to her,” Holloway-Fish said.

But that meeting caused them more worries. The couple wanted assurances it would not happen again, but they said no security changes were being discussed and that the attacker was still in the house.

“They told us she was still there and they were shocked,” Holloway-Fish said.

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

This was not the first time such an incident had happened at this nursing home.

Just a few days before, another resident had been attacked. A few days later she died.

Several calls from home were not answered.

Eyewitness News reporter Sefaan Kim tried to go in to meet their side in person, but was told to leave and that messages had been received.

“I don’t want them to have a dementia unit,” Holloway-Fish said. “They are not equipped.”

Allen Fish said his mother was a kind soul and a devoted person.

“She was always there for us,” he said. “Just a nurturing mom.”

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


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