Slight weight loss in the elderly age group can occur as part of the normal aging process. Weight loss in seniors can occur due to decreased appetite and a lower metabolic rate compared to a younger person. Certain health conditions also cause the weight of an older person to drop gradually, such as thyroid disorders, dementia, depression, and other conditions.
While a slight weight loss in the elderly does not always represent a reason for concern, rapid weight loss and hair loss can signal a number of serious health conditions, for example, cancer, uncontrolled diabetes, or gastrointestinal issues, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Causes of unintentional weight loss among the elderly frequently include malignant diseases, psychiatric disorders, gastrointestinal diseases, and endocrine disorders.
Weight Loss and Hair Loss Without a Medical Explanation
If your loved one is experiencing rapid and unexplained weight loss, they may need a thorough check-up to rule out any serious health conditions. If the nursing home ignored your loved one’s weight and hair loss, the facility may bear liability for neglect. It is the nursing home’s responsibility to arrange for timely medical care for their residents when they develop any worrying symptoms.
If your loved one is losing weight and hair rapidly without any medical explanation for this, they may not be getting the nutrition they need and may be suffering from neglect of their basic needs. Prolonged malnutrition and neglect that leads to rapid weight loss and hair loss can have serious consequences for the elderly and lead to severe nutritional deficiencies, weakness, illnesses, and death.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect in the Nursing Home
If your loved one has recently lost a great deal of weight, speak to them and find out if they have an explanation. Another possible reason for the change involved any form of abuse or neglect on behalf of the caregivers at the nursing home.
If your loved one is suffering from dementia or another cognitive impairment, or simply does not want to talk about any problems they may experience in the nursing home, there are signs you can observe that may point to general abuse or neglect happening in the nursing home:
- The staff seems rushed and inattentive.
- Residents lack sufficient personal care and hygiene.
- Residents’ clothes appear dirty.
- A lack of sufficient staff causes issues assisting all residents at meal times.
- The resident has unexplained injuries, such as bruises, sprains, and fractures.
- You notice any unusual behavior or sudden detrimental personality changes in the elderly person.
These signs may point to general neglect and abuse in the nursing home, causing malnourishment and dehydration of residents. If there is not enough staff encouraging and helping residents to eat and drink, for example, the nursing home is failing in its responsibility to provide an environment free of neglect and abuse. It also, ultimately, endangers the lives of the residents.
If you have noticed that your loved one in the nursing home is suffering from unexplained rapid weight loss and hair loss pointing to malnutrition or a major disease, you have a right to speak to a nursing home lawyer in Riverside. You may receive compensation for medical bills, transportation costs, emotional pain and anguish suffered, and other losses. We may help you determine whether you have a case through a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation with a Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Regulations and Liability
The nursing home may bear liability for neglect if it failed to provide your loved one with the medical care required or ignored their basic needs. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, as well as federal laws, protect nursing home residents from any harm due to lack of assistance with basic needs or inadequate staffing in a facility.
Nursing homes have to ensure that residents receive assistance with their basic needs, such as eating and drinking, throughout the day. Not doing so constitutes neglect, as many elderly and frail nursing home residents remain either unable to feed themselves or may simply forget to eat and drink without supervision.
Moreover, nursing staff should have the appropriate qualifications and training to recognize rapid weight loss, hair loss, and any other symptoms that point to malnutrition or potentially serious diseases. Nurses bear a responsibility to note, chart, and report any changes and symptoms of illness promptly and, if needed, to arrange for a medical professional to follow up. Rapid weight loss and hair loss can signal a serious underlying illness, and any delay in medical treatment can have dire consequences for an elderly person.
Riverside Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consider Legal Representation With a Riverside Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered from rapid weight loss or hair loss as a result of a nursing home’s negligence or abuse, you may qualify to hold the nursing home accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one has lost their life due to nursing home neglect, you may have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit and a Riverside rapid weight loss and hair loss lawyer could help.
After the decline in your loved one’s health, you may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of nursing home law, but we may assist you in determining what to do next. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to find out how we may help you and which type of compensation your loved one or your family may receive. Call us for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to help you determine your legal rights.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we never collect any payment for our services up front or out of pocket. We advocate for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse and look forward to hearing about your case to see how a rapid weight loss or hair loss attorney on our team may help.