When you place your senior loved one in a nursing home, it is reasonable to expect that they will be given appropriate care. But the tragic reality is that abuse and neglect are far too prevalent in many nursing homes. Malnutrition is one of the most common forms of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. According to a 2013 study published by PubMed, nearly two-thirds of nursing home residents are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnourished.
If your loved one is a resident at a nursing facility and suffers from malnutrition that you believe is a result of negligence on the part of the nursing home, a Kansas City malnutrition lawyer can help you protect the rights of your loved one. We can help with:
- Investigating your claim of elder abuse and neglect, including malnutrition at a nursing home
- Holding abusers and enablers accountable for their negligent actions
- Filing a claim on your behalf and navigating through the rigorous legal system in a bid to obtain justice and financial recovery that your loved one deserves
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 for a free legal consultation with one of our team members.
Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
Malnutrition is a lack of proper nourishment arising from not having enough to eat or eating food that is not nutritious enough. Malnutrition is a serious problem in nursing homes, as some residents may be suffering from a medical condition. Lack of proper nourishment may worsen their health conditions and weaken their immune system. Even worse, malnutrition may cause the residents to develop other complicated medical and health issues.
Sometimes, it can be hard to detect malnutrition, but some signs can help you establish if your loved one suffers from malnutrition. Some of the symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Slow reaction time
- Dry skin, brittle hair, and ridged nails
- Loss of appetite
- Slow wound healing in case of a bruise
If left untreated, malnutrition can have serious consequences on the mental and physical well-being of your loved one. Some of the consequences may include:
Weakened Immune System
Malnutrition may impair your loved one’s immune system, making it more difficult for them to fight diseases and infections. Common illnesses like influenza may even cause death.
When the elderly are deprived of the essential nutrients, they are likely to develop severe complications such as organ failure, seizures, and brain damage. In the worst scenarios, these complications can trigger potentially fatal consequences.
Risks of Additional Injuries
Malnutrition weakens bones and teeth. When an elderly adult has weak bones, they become susceptible to falling accidents that may cause severe injuries or even death. Additionally, elderly adults are likely to experience dizziness as a result of malnutrition, which also increases the risk of falls.
Common Causes of Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
Some of the common factors that may cause malnutrition include:
- Health impairments: If your loved one has chronic conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, they may have difficulties with chewing and or swallowing food. Having these challenges increases the risk of malnutrition. Additionally, certain medications may impact the appetite of your loved one or their body’s ability to intake or retain fluids.
- Depression: Depression may cause the elderly to experience loneliness, grief, and social withdrawal. It can also decrease appetite.
- Limited social contact: Having little or no social contact can give rise to a loss of interest in eating.
For a free legal consultation with a Malnutrition Lawyer serving Kansas, call (800) 794-0444
Negligence Is the Main Cause of Malnutrition Cases in Nursing Homes
It is true, in some cases, that staff in a nursing home may encounter challenges with feeding some residents. But in too many cases, severe weight loss and other health challenges linked to malnutrition are a result of the facility’s negligence. A nursing home is responsible for ensuring that the residents have proper nutrition. Moreover, nursing home workers have a duty to recognize any medical condition of a resident and take immediate action to prevent malnutrition. Failure to uphold these responsibilities amounts to negligence, and the nursing facility may be held legally accountable.
A nursing home may be held liable for your elderly one’s malnutrition if there is:
- Failure to monitor a patient’s medication to determine if any side effects could lead to lack of appetite and malnutrition
- Understaffing leading to insufficient staff to care for the residents
- Lack of round the clock monitoring to ensure that residents eat sufficient amounts of food
- Having a one-size-fits-all meal plan that does not cater to the needs of each resident
- Providing incorrect meal sizes that do not provide the required amounts of nutrients
- Failure to monitor signs of malnutrition
- Lack of adequate medical treatment
- Failure to attend to residents who cannot feed themselves
- Intent to deprive a resident of food
A Kansas City malnutrition lawyer can help determine who is at fault and hold them or the nursing home facility accountable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Kansas Malnutrition Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Help Establish Liability on Responsible Parties
If malnutrition is a result of neglect or abuse, the nursing home can be held responsible. You can file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for expenses related to malnutrition on behalf of your loved one. If you lost a loved one as a result of malnutrition in a nursing home, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.
To prevail in a lawsuit for negligence, you must file a claim within the statute of limitations. According to Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo) §516.120, you have five years from the day that the incident happened to file a lawsuit against the liable parties. By missing this deadline, you could lose your right to a legal remedy for your loved one’s damages.
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Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a Free Case Review
If your loved one suffered malnutrition in a nursing home, we invite you to reach out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A Kansas City malnutrition lawyer can guide you through the process of seeking legal recourse against the nursing home. Call us at (800) 842-6336 today for a free initial consultation regarding your case. We take cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you will only pay us if we secure a settlement on your loved one’s behalf.