Rapid weight or hair loss is never a good sign. When you see unexplained weight or hair loss in your elderly loved one living in a nursing home, you are right to be concerned. Rapid hair or weight loss may result from physical abuse, neglect, or other kinds of maltreatment.
Nursing home residents are sometimes incapable of advocating for themselves. Some have lost the ability to speak; others have memory problems. It is on you, your elderly loved one’s child or spouse, to watch over them and investigate anything that seems amiss regarding their physical or psychological health.
If your loved one has suffered rapid and unexplained weight or hair loss, you may have the right to financial recovery. A Louisville rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you through the legal process. We have experience investigating instances of nursing home neglect and abuse, and we can help you file a claim. Call us at (800) 842-6336 to begin a free consultation with one of our team members.
Reasons for Rapid Weight or Hair Loss in Nursing Home Residents
Many older adults suffer from chronic conditions, which may affect their physical appearance over time. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), 80% of adults aged 65 years and older have one or more chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart or cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, or cancer.
It is normal to gradually lose weight over time because of the loss of muscle mass. Hair may also thin due to old age. However, when these changes happen suddenly, rapidly, and without a valid medical reason, you have the right to know why.
In nursing homes, rapid weight or hair loss are indicators of abuse or neglect.
Some causes of rapid weight and hair loss in nursing home residents include:
Malnutrition can lead to both weight and hair loss. Your body needs the right balance of macronutrients and micronutrients to support good health. Nursing homes should provide balanced diets and supplement any important vitamins or minerals. They should also assist residents who need help eating to make sure they consume their meals on time and in full. Otherwise, you may notice rapid deterioration without an underlying medical condition.
For a free legal consultation with a Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer serving Louisville, call (800) 842-6336
Insufficient Calorie Intake
Outside of medical conditions, people lose weight because their caloric intake is less than the calories they expend. Your loved one could lose weight if they do not consume enough food to maintain their body weight, metabolism, and any other activities they engage in. Even if the nursing home is not intentionally starving residents, they may be liable for not properly monitoring residents’ diets.
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Changes in Medication
A nursing home’s caregivers are often responsible for making sure that residents take the right medication and on time. Changing an elderly person’s medication without good reason can cause many side effects, including weight and hair loss. Nursing homes should always consult a doctor before changing any medication that a resident takes; otherwise, they could face liability for any undesirable effects.
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Your loved one may lose hair or weight because they are going through a traumatic experience, whether physical or psychological. If you believe that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in their nursing home, you should take prompt legal action to protect their wellbeing.
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Anxiety, Depression, and Stress
Like trauma, anxiety, depression, and stress can manifest as rapid weight loss and hair thinning. It is critical to investigate sudden personality changes in your loved one. For instance, could they feel uncomfortable or neglected by the nursing home’s care staff? Abuse, whether physical, sexual, or emotional, can often cause mental changes that can manifest physically.
Other Signs of Abuse and Neglect
You may have no definitive proof regarding the changes in your loved one’s appearance. In that case, you should look out for other signs that could indicate maltreatment.
These signs may include:
- Changes in appearance, including haggardness, tiredness, and general malaise
- An unkempt appearance, such as soiled clothing, soiled bed linens, torn clothes, or an unpleasant body odor
- Unexplained infections or injuries
- Your loved one’s attempts to leave the nursing home
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or abrasions
- Sudden personality changes, such as withdrawal into oneself
- Sudden aggression or withdrawal, especially towards a particular staff member
This is by no means an exhaustive list. A Louisville rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer can help you determine the root of your loved one’s maltreatment and take action accordingly.
Understaffing in Kentucky Nursing Homes
The University of California San Francisco reports that nursing home residents need at least 3 hours of direct care per day. The Lexington Herald-Leader notes that nursing homes in the state average just 45 minutes of direct care per resident daily. Some facilities offer as little as 24 minutes per resident daily. When staff members are overworked, they are unable to provide the required care and attention to residents.
If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a Louisville nursing home, you have legal options. A lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you recover compensation for the cost of moving to a new facility, your loved one’s medical bills, and pain and suffering.
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You
Has your loved one suffered unexplained weight or hair loss in a nursing home? A Louisville rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer can help your family build a case that recovers compensation for your various expenses. After we investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s living conditions, we will advise you on a course of action and represent your legal interests. Our team is prepared to represent you during the negotiation process or at trial.
Our team of lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to begin a free case evaluation.