Recent studies about nursing home staff shortages indicate that many states are still under the levels of proper care for elderly seniors in nursing homes. Some estimates show that up to 30% of nursing home residents can become malnourished because of a lack of staff service for the right amounts of food and water. This malnourishment can take a toll on an elderly person’s health. This can be considered nursing home neglect or abuse.
In nursing homes, long-term residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or a combination of mental illnesses may be prone to missing meals or not drinking enough water.
Some of these patients are unable to communicate feelings of thirst and hunger.
If the nursing home staff does not have the proper training to understand a dementia patient’s needs, the resident could end up losing serious amounts of weight due to lack of food, lack of water, or a combination of both.
Suppose you have a loved one living in a nursing home facility, and you are worried that you are seeing signs of malnutrition and possible dehydration. In that case, you should contact a Jacksonville malnutrition lawyer for help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for a free case evaluation.
Undernourishment, Malnutrition, and Dehydration
When nursing home residents suffer from undernourishment, malnutrition, and dehydration, it is almost certainly due to nursing home neglect. This neglect would seem normally unthinkable if you are caring for your elderly loved one in your own home.
Unfortunately, because of lapses in nursing home controls and processes, the nursing home staff either willfully neglects the residents, or it is a symptom of nursing home understaffing. In either case, it betrays the staff’s duty of care in making sure that the residents are getting their daily intake of fluids and nutrition.
Almost three-quarters of all nursing home residents suffer from malnourishment at some point during their time in the home. Dehydration among residents is even more common. Both of these emerge because of a person’s poor nutritional diet and fluid intake.
This is a serious issue and one that causes alarm for personal injury lawyers because of the risk to the elderly senior’s life. Death can come about quickly if a 90-year-old’s water and food needs go unheeded. Short of dying, malnutrition in a senior resident can put the person in the emergency room, hooked up to an IV drip for days.
The nursing home shoulders the costs and responsibility for making sure that the nursing home residents get the right amounts of water, food, and medications. When the nursing home drops the ball on these, it can lead to allegations of negligence.
If you fear that your loved one was subject to an understaffed, negligent nursing home, and may have died because of dehydration or malnutrition, reach out to a Jacksonville malnutrition lawyer for assistance. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation to see if we can move forward with a case against the nursing home.
Symptoms of Malnutrition to Identify
If you visit a nursing home, take a look around for obvious signs of distress by patients and residents. You might see trash bins overflowing, half-eaten food trays laying around, pitchers of old water in jugs. These may be signals of broader negligence issues in the nursing home.
One of these issues could be a result of an understaffed nursing home, a problem that has been around for years. Because of understaffing, workers at a nursing home simply do not have the help and time they need to give the duty of care that is expected for each resident. Being overworked and underpaid can lead to possible scenarios of physical and mental abuse as well. Sadly, negligence from understaffing often leads to illnesses, injuries, and even deaths.
But for malnutrition cases, specifically, there are clear signs to be seen, according to a study in Clinical Nutrition. Rapid and sudden weight loss is a sure sign of malnutrition, as this is the most visible outward aspect to be seen. But additional signs and symptoms can come out if a nursing home resident is not given the proper food requirements and fluid intake.
- Chronic fatigue to the point of not getting up from bed anymore
- Bedsores may start to appear
- Signs of a rounded or bloated abdomen
- Swollen gums and possible bleeding
- A chill over the body, regardless of the room temperature
- Slimmer facial features, with sunken-in cheeks
- Depression, anger, and apathy
If these signs from your loved one jump out at you, then it is up to you to contact authorities and a personal injury lawyer. Without immediate action, your elderly loved one could face an untimely death.
This is where charges of nursing home negligence can come into play. If your loved one is losing weight at an alarming pace (25 or 35 pounds in a month, for example), it may be an indicator of staff negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a Jacksonville Malnutrition Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
Filing a Lawsuit for Negligence
Charging a nursing home facility with a negligence lawsuit is a big move to take for anyone. However, you may be within your legal rights to do so.
Our attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have been successful in helping people just like you who have found their loved ones in dire nursing home situations. We are confident that our team of legal professionals can assist you with the discovery and negotiations that are part of negligence cases.
Our legal team will:
- Listen to the circumstances of your loved one in the nursing home
- Understand the level of seriousness around the negligence
- Advise you on the next steps to what entails bringing a lawsuit against the facility
- Discuss the possibility of getting a financial settlement for the wrongdoings at the nursing care home
Contact a Jacksonville malnutrition lawyer soon to get help for the legal process of a negligence lawsuit against a nursing home. Call to speak to a team member for your free initial consultation at (800) 842-6336.