A 59-year-old nursing aid, Julia C. Galvan, was arrested following abuse of an 87-year-old resident who later died, although it is not believed her death was due to a slap on the top of the head administered by Galvan. Modesta Alvarado was awakened from her sleep as Galvan slapped the top of her head, according to police. After the initial slap, Alvarado watched with eyes and mouth wide open as the nurses aid delivered two more forceful blows. She was found dead by staff at the Harborage nursing home less than 24 hours after the fatal blows.
The New Jersey nursing home is a 245 bed facility located at 7600 River Road in North Bergen. Police were stunned as they watched the video, taken by a “nanny cam” that had been hidden in a clock radio. According to Police Lt. Rank Canella, the video was very disturbing; Canella said that it was hard to watch, as the victim was lying in bed defenseless.
Galvan, a resident of North Bergen, was arrested and charged with neglect of elderly charges, abandonment and assault. She posted a $5,000 bail, but was terminated by the nursing home facility.
The victims daughter presented the police with the video evidence of Galvan assaulting her mother. She had become suspicious after seeing bruises on her mother, and had placed the “nanny cam” in the clock to record footage over a one week time period. In the video, Galvan was also shown ripping the victim’s oxygen mask violently from her face, which she was not authorized to do as a nurse’s aid.
Alvarado’s death was not directly caused by the attack according to police, but the case has been turned over to the Hudson County Prosecutors Office along with the video evidence for review.
Canella said that when Galvan was questioned as to why she did what she did, she told police that she suffers from depression and was stressed. The state Dept. of Health was notified and was investigating the incident further. Overall, Harborage has a four-star rating and was recently given a five-star rating following a health inspection, however the facility only received one star in regards to staffing levels.
To think that a nursing home staff member would treat an elderly person in such a way is simply unfathomable. We expect our elderly loved ones to be cared for and treated with respect and dignity, but this is often not the case.
If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home facility, contact the Buffalo NY nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Brown Chiari. Buffalo injury attorneys with vast experience in nursing home abuse cases.