Elderly residents of nursing homes may already have frailer immune systems and less strength. As a result, they require specialized nutrition on a daily basis to ensure that they continue to remain healthy. Families make the difficult decision to place their loved one in a nursing home so that they will receive the proper care and supervision they need. One of the most important reasons and factors that go into that decision is that a family feels that their loved one will receive proper nutrition to ensure their quality of life and health.
If a senior resident of a nursing home fails to receive proper nutrition, it can result in serious medical complications or even death. If you believe your elderly family member suffered as a result of malnutrition as a resident in a nursing home, consider visiting with our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn how a Detroit malnutrition lawyer can work with you to receive the justice your loved one deserves. Call (800) 842-6336 today for your free consultation.
Nursing Homes and Malnutrition
According to MedlinePlus, malnourishment occurs when a person does not receive the minimum amount of nutrients they need in their body. Nursing homes have a responsibility and duty to ensure that all of their residents receive proper hydration and nutrition throughout the day. Most nursing homes will have a care plan for every resident that includes a specific diet and meal plan specifically designed for their needs. Every nursing home staff member should know about this meal plan and ensure that the resident receives the proper nutrition they need for their strength and overall physical and mental health. Failure to do so can rise to the level of nursing home negligence or even nursing home abuse.
Determining Whether Malnourishment Rises to the Level of Nursing Home Negligence
Every case of malnourishment will have its own set of facts and circumstances within a nursing home. However, it is very safe to say that no instances of malnourishment should ever occur in a nursing home. Nursing home staff members should not only prepare nutritious food but also ensure that residents actually consume the food they receive. The following are ways to determine whether or not malnourishment of an elderly resident of a nursing home rises to the level of negligence or abuse.
- Ask your loved one about their mealtimes and how they receive their food. Ask if they enjoy their meals and if they feel they receive proper nutrition throughout the day.
- If your loved one has cognitive challenges or the inability to speak about their daily intake of food, consider their overall general hygiene and consider even visiting with other residents regarding their daily food intake.
- Symptoms of malnourishment include fatigue, weight loss, muscle loss, bedsores, parched or dry lips, thin or cracked skin, infections, slower wound healing, overall deterioration in health, decreased organ function, medical complications, and even death.
If you believe that your loved one may suffer from malnutrition as a resident in a nursing home, first visit with the management of the nursing home. Ask to see records regarding the nutrition received by your loved one. If you fail to gain any information or answers regarding the deterioration of the health of your elderly family member, speak with Adult Protective Services or even law enforcement. Additionally, consider contacting our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more about how a Detroit malnutrition lawyer can help your family during this difficult time.
For a free legal consultation with a Malnutrition Lawyer serving Detroit, call (800) 794-0444
Factors that Contribute to Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
According to PubMed, up to 20% of all nursing home residents experience malnutrition at some point during their stay in the nursing home facility. While many nursing homes take their legal and regulatory obligations with respect to nutrition seriously, other nursing homes simply fail to have the staff and resources to properly care for their residents, resulting in serious medical issues including malnutrition. If a nursing home remains more focused on profits than patients, serious illness or deaths may occur. Some of the factors that contribute to malnutrition in nursing homes include the following:
- Failure to continually monitor every patient for their nutritional needs
- Failure to provide training to nursing home staff members regarding how to properly prepare and administer nutrition, and ensure that nursing home residents actually consume the nutrition provided
- Overworked and understaffed nursing homes having the inability to provide adequate care for nursing home residents
- Failure to provide appetizing and different types of foods to nursing home residents
- Failure to maintain proper storage facilities for food or sanitary conditions for food
- Failure to have a dietician on staff to ensure that residents receive proper nutrition on a daily basis according to their ever-changing needs
- Failure to provide supervision during mealtimes to ensure that every resident has assistance with cutting or swallowing food
Any of these factors could rise to the level of nursing home neglect or abuse. In some horrific instances, nursing home staff members will use nutrition and food as a tool to achieve behavioral compliance with nursing home residents that suffer from cognitive challenges such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In these instances of elder abuse in nursing homes, nutrition is ultimately used as a tool and a weapon in order to make elderly residents respond to the direction of the nursing home staff. In all cases where residents do not receive proper nutrition in a nursing home, it remains probable that the malnutrition of residents is the direct result of nursing home negligence or abuse.
Detroit Malnutrition Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
A Detroit Malnutrition Lawyer Can Help Your Family
At the very minimum, residents of nursing homes deserve to receive proper nutrition and hydration on a daily basis. If you believe your elderly family member suffered malnutrition in a nursing home, you may have the legal right to pursue a claim against the nursing home for neglect or abuse, depending on the circumstances. Consider visiting with a Detroit malnutrition lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to work with you to obtain the justice your elderly loved one deserves. Call our firm at (800) 842-6336 to talk about your case with one of our representatives.