People of all ages need proper nutrition to help them maintain their health and avoid illnesses and dangerous physical conditions. Avoiding malnutrition can be especially difficult for residents of nursing homes, as some of the elderly residents may not eat properly because of a lack of appetite.
If you suspect that the nursing home is not doing enough to protect your loved one from the dangers of malnutrition, you have the right to seek compensation for pain and suffering and medical bills. Should your loved one develop a nutrition disorder because of malnutrition, he or she could be facing a long road to recovery and significant time in the hospital.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm appreciates the opportunity to defend the rights of victims of malnutrition who are often are unable to defend themselves. We know the dangers nursing home residents face from this problem. Contact us today for a free case review and learn how a Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer may be able to assist you.
Why Are Nursing Home Residents Susceptible to Malnutrition?
Certainly, people of any age could suffer from problems related to malnutrition. However, as someone ages, he or she has a greater risk of developing complications due to malnutrition.
According to Mayo Clinic, some of the reasons why an elderly person may develop problems related to malnutrition include:
- Medications: where certain types of medicine that the nursing home resident is taking for a condition may create the side effect of a lack of hunger, leaving your loved one with little desire to take in enough food and nutrition.
- Poor food quality: where the nursing home kitchen does not prepare desirable or high-quality food, leaving your loved one unwilling to eat properly.
- Health conditions: where illnesses and conditions like dementia, poor dental health, digestive problems, Alzheimer’s disease, and inflammation in the throat can leave elderly residents unable to eat as much as they should.
- Problems with dexterity: where an elderly nursing home resident may have pain in the hands and fingers or a lack of dexterity, leaving them unable to properly manipulate silverware, meaning they may struggle to eat enough food at meal time.
- Lack of taste: where, as people age, they may suffer changes in taste and smell, meaning they do not enjoy eating as much as they did when they were younger, leading to a lack of food intake.
- Mental conditions: where things like depression could lead to an elderly resident losing his or her appetite.
According to the World Health Organization, elderly people simply may not have a desire to eat as much as they did when they were younger because they need fewer calories than they did previously, as they are expending less energy during their daily activities. This could lead to the formation of malnutrition.
Protecting Vulnerable People
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our team knows how insurance companies for nursing homes tend to treat victims of neglect or abuse related to malnutrition. You may find that the insurer simply wants to settle the case as quickly as possible, rather than truly compensating your loved one for his or her injuries.
A Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer from our team will be ready to begin working on your case as soon as you hire us. We will not let the insurance company take advantage of your loved one, and we will present his or her side of the story. Call now for your free consultation.
Signs of Malnutrition
When visiting a loved one in the nursing home, if you suspect the possibility of malnutrition occurring, you should be on the lookout for certain types of physical changes in your loved one, including:
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Bruising that occurs easily
- Wounds that will not heal as quickly as they should
- Vitamin deficiency found through a blood test
- Sudden dental problems
- Sudden development of canker sores
- Powerful fatigue or dizzy spells
- Difficulty thinking clearly
- Sudden yellowing of the skin
- Sudden presence of infections or pressure sores
The nursing home resident may have one or more of these conditions when malnutrition is occurring. A doctor can run tests to determine whether this is the case.
For a free legal consultation with an malnutrition lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
How Nursing Homes Can Combat Malnutrition
The nursing home staff needs to take steps to help its residents receive the proper nutrition. This is not always an easy process if a resident does not want to eat, but there are things the staff can do. Some of these items include:
- Monitoring food intake: where staff may need to measure the number of calories a resident is eating to ensure he or she is eating enough.
- Monitoring weight: where, by taking regular weight measurements, staff can catch a potential malnutrition problem before it becomes serious.
- Serving more desirable food: where the kitchen at the nursing home can use better-quality ingredients and fresh food to encourage residents to eat.
- Help with feeding: where staff can help the resident eat, avoiding issues with holding and manipulating silverware.
Should the resident not be eating enough, the nursing home staff needs to contact the resident’s doctor and family as soon as possible. Doctors can come up with ideas to help with improving appetite, resulting in better nutrition. The nursing home staff has a responsibility to watch for the signs of malnutrition, so a doctor’s care can begin as soon as possible.
Los Angeles Malnutrition Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Protecting the Rights of Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is not afraid to take on the toughest cases. Proving malnutrition in a nursing home can be a tricky process, so our team will study the medical records of your loved one and interview witnesses, determining exactly what has happened.
A Los Angeles malnutrition lawyer from our team will work tirelessly to help your loved one receive the compensation he or she deserves for any reduction in quality of life. The nursing home has a responsibility to make sure its residents are eating properly, receiving the nutrition they need to live as healthily and safely as possible.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Because we work on a contingency-fee basis, we do not receive payment until the case comes to a satisfactory settlement.