One of the fundamental services that nursing homes must provide is nutrition control. For seniors, nutrition can have a significant impact on their health. Nursing homes must provide enough food at a high enough nutritional quality to keep elderly residents in good health. When they do not, this can lead to long-term health problems, including death.
Malnutrition is a condition where a person does not receive the nutritional content in food that they need. This can happen from eating food that is not nutritious enough, or not getting enough food or calories. In nursing homes, both of these situations are potential problems for seniors. If your loved one is suffering from malnutrition while in the care of a nursing home, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your expenses. A Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer can provide legal guidance for managing your lawsuit. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with a member of our team. The consultation is free, and you will only pay us if we win your case.
Dangers of Malnutrition
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.3 million seniors live in nursing homes. With malnutrition being such a pervasive problem in nursing homes, many elderly residents are at risk. It can have a variety of impacts on their mental and physical wellbeing, including:
- Dental problems: Poor nutrition can weaken bones, including teeth. Over time, this can lead to dental problems such as cavities, which can cause more serious infections in other parts of the body.
- Difficulty swallowing: Dry mouth can cause problems swallowing as there is not enough saliva to break down and lubricate food. This could lead to choking.
- Weakened bones: Bones weaken when they do not receive the nutrients needed to replenish them. This makes falls and physical strain more dangerous for seniors.
- Weak immune systems: The immune system cannot function as well when someone is dehydrated or malnourished. This leaves the elderly open to other illnesses.
- Weak muscles: Muscles need specific nutrients to be able to thrive. Without them, they cannot work as effectively. This leads to weaker muscles, a more sedentary lifestyle, and muscles that begin to atrophy. For seniors, this could be fatal as the muscles weaken so much that they cannot function, and they may never recover.
- Dry skin: Skin protects the body from bacteria, viruses, and other types of illnesses. When it becomes too dry, it can let those things through. With untreated infections also being a common problem in nursing homes, dry skin increases the chances of contracting an illness.
- Death: Being dehydrated or malnourished for too long can lead to organ failure and death.
- Influencing other illnesses: Being malnourished can also aggravate other illnesses.
There are other dangers of being malnourished that are not covered on this list. It is dangerous to be deprived of the nutrients that the body needs for an extended period of time. If this is what happened to your loved one, it may explain some of the changes in their condition.
Disease Progression vs. Neglect
One of the problems with trying to identify the cause of malnutrition or dehydration is that diseases can cause these conditions to happen. Certain illnesses can lead to malnutrition, even if the nursing facility is providing adequate care. There are many conditions that grow worse over time that can interfere with how the body processes nutrients and water. Unfortunately, this can look like neglect when it happens.
It is important to look into these types of problems as soon as possible. It does not take long for dehydration to become life-threatening. Malnutrition can lead to medical problems quickly, as well. If the cause is neglect, then early intervention can make a substantial difference in your loved one’s outcomes.
For a free legal consultation with a Malnutrition Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Other Signs of Neglect
Neglect can take many forms that can appear in different ways. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also points out that seniors have a higher risk of experiencing neglect or abuse if they are in a long-term care facility or program. Neglect can also be seen through a variety of other signs, including poor hygiene, dirty living conditions, and soiled clothing. If any of these signs appear, investigate as soon as possible. If you can intervene and get your loved one help sooner than later, it may be possible to prevent serious problems from developing.
Los Angeles Malnutrition Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
If your loved one’s malnutrition problems are caused by neglect, then the nursing home facility may be held responsible. You may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your loved one’s expenses related to the problem. If your loved one passed away because of it, you may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
To fully understand your legal options, consult a lawyer that is trained in civil law, specifically nursing home abuse and neglect. A Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer can help you understand the legal steps that you can take, as well as help you build and file a case. If you win, you can collect compensation from the nursing home facility.
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Statute of Limitations
You can file a lawsuit for negligence, but you have a limited amount of time to do so. The statute of limitations in California for negligence cases is two years. That means that you have two years from the day that the incident happened to file the lawsuit. These cases take time to build, and two years is enough time for evidence and witnesses to go missing. Give your lawyer as much time as possible by starting the process as early as you can.
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A Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer can guide you through the process of suing the nursing home for compensation. If your loved one was injured because of nursing home negligence, consult with a legal representative for guidance. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation regarding your case. You will only pay us if we secure a settlement on you and your loved one’s behalf.