Malnutrition is the result of a person receiving too much or too little nutrients to sustain basic health levels. It is an occurrence that may indicate that your family member is experiencing nursing home abuse or neglect.
If you believe that this is the case, you may find it helpful to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in your state. He or she can provide legal guidance toward ensuring your loved one’s safety while filing a compensation claim.
Causes of Malnutrition in Nursing Home Residents
Older adults are at a higher risk for malnutrition and dehydration than other age populations. Inadequately nourished nursing home residents can suffer further injury or your family member’s death.
While malnutrition does not always indicate that nursing home abuse or neglect is occurring, it is vital to investigate all instances of it happening. Failure to do so can result in your loved one’s continued suffering.
The most common causes of malnutrition in nursing homes include:
- Medical neglect.
- Neglect of basic needs.
- Neglect of personal hygiene.
- Social or emotional neglect.
Your loved one may have a health issue that makes it challenging to eat or drink. However, the nursing home should have a medical awareness of this risk if they are providing adequate care and attention.
Complications of Malnutrition Can Lead to Further Injuries
Malnutrition can lead to fatigue and weakness due to inadequate nutrients needed for physical and cognitive well-being. This state can lead to fall accidents and bone breaks, particularly for individuals lacking Vitamin D and calcium.
Without addressing malnutrition early on, it may lead to:
- Cognitive impairment.
- Slow wound healing.
In cases involving seriously malnourished residents, there are significant changes in mood and behavior. They may refuse to drink and eat, which can lead to death if left untreated.
Older adults require fewer calories and fill up more easily than others. Oral and dental health also play a role in the causes of malnutrition. The nursing home staff caring for your family member must address these medical issues. Otherwise, they expose themselves to liability for not meeting this duty of medical care.
The nursing home owes your loved one a duty of care by ensuring that he or she is adequately fed and hydrated. Nursing home residents experiencing malnutrition may be victims of abuse or neglect. Aside from seeking immediate medical attention, you may also seek help from a nursing home injury lawyer right away.
Preventing Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
The best way to ensure that your loved one is safe is to investigate any instances of malnutrition or dehydration. If you are noticing unusual symptoms or behavior, address them immediately with the nursing home staff.
Maintaining the lines of communication between you and the staff members is a proactive approach toward adequately caring for your family member. You can further support him or her by checking in regularly.
Malnutrition Caused by Abuse or Neglect
After investigating the malnutrition or dehydration injury, you might feel uneasy about your findings. Uncovering nursing home abuse or neglect allows you to file a claim for compensation on behalf of your loved one or his or her estate.
Injuries of malnutrition and dehydration may cause financial losses in the form of medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of enjoyment, or even wrongful death. It is unacceptable for you and your family to pay for injuries that a nursing home negligently caused.
However, there is a limited timeline to file a malnutrition claim. Therefore, it is essential that you act sooner than later to avoid missing your window of opportunity.
Discuss Your Loved One’s Malnutrition Injuries With a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Since most of us never experience malnutrition, it is critical to remember that it is potentially life-threatening. Without adequate nourishment, your loved one cannot fight off infections or cognitively perform at his or her best.
If you believe that your family member’s malnutrition injuries resulted from nursing home abuse or neglect, reporting the problem is the first step toward protecting them. The next step to take is to discuss his or her injuries with a nursing home injury lawyer.
The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is on your side every step of the way. You have reassurance in knowing that you are working with a firm that gives you the personal attention your family deserves.
To request your free case evaluation, reach out to us at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your options.