When you make the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home, the last thing on your mind is that they could end up neglected. Unfortunately, it can be upsetting to learn about the reality in some of today’s nursing homes. If nursing homes are too focused on profits, cutting corners where they can, the care of the residents will invariably suffer. Having enough staff in a facility and making sure they are qualified to be able to assist, monitor, and assess patients could easily resolve this situation.
If a nursing home has insufficient numbers of nurses or aides, chances are that residents are denied assistance with basic needs such as eating and drinking. If this happened to your loved one, contacting a law firm that handles nursing home abuse can help to clarify your legal options.
How to Detect Malnourishment
The most important thing you can do is to observe your loved one closely every time you visit them in the nursing home. Do they look well cared for, or do they appear to have lost weight and condition? You might also want to pay close attention to the general appearance of the facility, for example, cleanliness, and whether you see staff tending to residents on a frequent basis.
If you worry that your loved one is not receiving the nourishment they require, look out for some specific symptoms of malnourishment that go beyond the obvious weight and muscle loss. Lesser-known symptoms of inadequate nourishment can include depression, fatigue, a weakened immune system, frequent infections, low body temperature, and slow wound healing.
Keep a close watch as some symptoms and diseases at first glance do not seem connected to malnutrition, for example, new bedsores. A subpar diet can also cause your loved one to suddenly become frail and suffer from falls and related injuries such as broken bones and sprains. While again, at first sight, this does not seem related to nutrition, it is important to bear in mind that inadequate nourishment has an effect on the entire body and can cause weakness, frailty, and a severely compromised immune system.
When long term malnourishment or dehydration happens, the symptoms of your loved one could become extremely worrying. For example, a marked mental decline or even organ failure which can ultimately result in death, according to The Commonwealth Fund.
If you question nursing home staff about any new symptoms, it might come as a surprise to find them act defensively and perhaps even blaming a resident’s decline on their medical issues or conditions. However, you always have to consider malnourishment and dehydration as a cause of health decline, particularly when your loved one shows new, worrying, and unexplained symptoms.
Seeking Legal Help from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Inadequate Nourishment
Finding out or suspecting that your loved one is neglected in the nursing home, the place where they should feel safe and receive 24-hour care, can be devastating and upsetting. After the initial shock, you might wonder what to do next.
Firstly, it is important to ensure the immediate safety of your relative and get some independent medical advice, especially if you feel that nursing home staff is not taking your concerns seriously. Once your loved one has their immediate needs taken care of and is safe, you can think about what further steps to take.
If you believe the nursing home is to blame for the deterioration of your loved one, you can speak to the director of nursing to try and resolve the situation. You could also report the nursing home to the responsible agency in your state, details of which can be found on The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare. Remember that inadequate nourishment of residents can be nursing home neglect which is illegal.
Your next best option could be connecting with a nursing home lawyer who can advise you about how to get justice and compensation for all that you and your loved one experienced. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free consultation with a member of our team: (800) 842-6336.