If your loved one lives in a nursing home, they should receive the nutrients they need to maintain their health. Rapid weight loss or hair loss might signal a nutritional issue. If you believe your family member shows signs of malnutrition or dehydration, a Dallas rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer can help you uncover if the nursing home has committed abuse or neglect. If your loved one suffered because of negligence or wrongdoing, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you recover damages through a lawsuit. To discuss your case with our team, call (800) 842-6336 today.
Nursing Homes Must Ensure Residents’ Nourishment and Hydration
If your loved one rapidly loses weight or suddenly experiences hair loss, it might result from not consuming enough food and water. These are symptoms of malnourishment and severe dehydration that could indicate nursing home abuse and neglect.
It is part of the duty of care the nursing home legally owes to your loved one to ensure they receive adequate food and drink. The nursing home must also assist residents with eating and drinking when needed. Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) requires all licensed nursing homes to:
- Provide table service for all residents who want to eat at a table, including residents who use wheelchairs.
- Provide sturdy over-bed tables or serving trays for bedridden residents.
- Provide special utensils or eating equipment to residents who require it.
- Promptly assist residents who need help eating and drinking.
- Meet each resident’s dietary needs.
- Provide appetizing and attractive meals.
- Carefully monitor and record food and fluid intake.
- Provide three meals per day.
- Provide snacks before bedtime.
If the nursing home ignores dietary guidelines, your family member may not consume healthy, adequate meals. If your loved one’s nursing home withholds food or water as punishment, a means of control, or a way to cut costs, it is morally and ethically wrong. It is also illegal. These actions constitute neglect and abuse.
If your loved one experienced rapid weight or hair loss, you should have concerns about the treatment they receive in their nursing home, especially if you also notice any of the following:
- Signs of physical violence or rough handling.
- Changes in your loved one’s behavior, like difficulty sleeping or signs of depression.
- Signs of neglect, such as bedsores, lack of bathing, and soiled bedsheets.
- Inadequate staffing.
- Frequent falls or other injuries.
The Dangers of Malnutrition and Dehydration
Food and water are necessities essential to every human being’s survival. Without proper nutrition and hydration, our bodies weaken and die. According to the Mayo Clinic, malnourishment can weaken an older adult’s immune system, leaving them more prone to infections. It can also cause muscle weakness and reduced bone mass, increasing the risk of falls and fractures. Malnourished seniors also have a higher risk of hospitalization and death.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, prolonged dehydration can cause confusion, difficulty walking, and rapid heart rate. Your loved one may seem tired, dizzy, or listless. Severe dehydration may require emergency medical care, including the administration of intravenous fluids.
For a free legal consultation with a Dallas Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer serving Dallas, call (800) 794-0444
How Rapid Hair Loss Could Indicate Neglect
The nursing home staff should monitor your loved one’s food and fluid consumption to ensure they receive the nutrition they need to maintain good health. According to Healthfully, malnutrition leads to an imbalance in hormone levels and certain nutrients necessary for hair growth. This imbalance could also accelerate hair loss.
Additionally, brittle and thin hair are also signs of dehydration. When you don’t drink enough water, your body uses what fluids it can for essential purposes—and growing hair doesn’t make the cut.
Nursing home staff should spot problems with your family member’s diet before they began rapidly losing their hair. If you notice your loved one’s rapid hair loss, it might signal the staff has neglected its duty of care. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your situation with a team member.
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Holding the Nursing Home Accountable
If caregivers neglected or abused your family member, you could seek justice and compensation on their behalf. You can make the nursing home pay for your loved one’s damages. A Dallas rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer can help you fight for:
- The costs of treating your loved one’s injuries.
- Reimbursement for nursing home fees.
- The costs of moving your loved one to a new nursing home.
- Compensation for the physical suffering your family member endured.
- Compensation for your loved one’s emotional pain, stress, and anxiety.
- Exemplary damages to punish the nursing home for its wrongdoing.
- Wrongful death benefits, if applicable, including funeral and burial costs.
Those who harmed your loved one may also face punishment from Texas law enforcement agencies. The Office of the Attorney General explains how the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (DADS) investigates complaints against licensed long-term care facilities. Call (800) 458-9858 to report nursing home abuse.
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Taking Steps to Protect Your Loved One
If you have any worries about your loved one’s care, you could remove them from their nursing home. If they have not seen a doctor, seek treatment for malnourishment and dehydration. Keep any records of your loved one’s treatment and medical expenses.
You could also contact a Dallas rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer. They can help you send a message to the nursing home that you will not back down. A nursing home abuse lawyer will do their best to make sure the facility takes your claims seriously and handles them fairly. If the nursing home won’t settle your case outside of court, an attorney can file suit before the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases set by Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 expires.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm offers free no-obligation consultations so that you can learn more about your legal options at no financial risk to you. If you work with our firm, we will not collect any fees unless we win your case. We have helped thousands of nursing home abuse victims win substantial settlements. We want to help you, too. Call our team today at (800) 842-6336.