According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, neglect may not always be intentional. It could be that a nursing home is understaffed or the staff is not properly trained. No matter the cause, malnutrition can lead to serious health issues.
If your loved one suffered an illness, injury, or death caused by malnutrition while in the care of a nursing home, a Tulsa malnutrition lawyer may be able to help. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more.
About Malnutrition In Seniors
Malnutrition is more common in the elderly. According to a study in the Postgraduate Medical Journal, causes of malnutrition in seniors may include:
- A loss of taste and smell common with aging
- Difficulty swallowing
- Discomfort from dentures
- Medications that decrease appetite
- Lack of assistance or supervision while eating
- Lack of accommodation for dietary needs
- Depression and loneliness
- Underlying health conditions
Good nutrition is important for overall health and physical well-being, regardless of age. According to Mayo Clinic, malnutrition in the elderly can cause other health issues, including:
- A weakened immune system
- Muscle weakness and decreased bone mass, which may lead to falls and bone fractures
- Confusion and difficulty thinking clearly
- Poor wound healing
- Increased risk of hospitalization and death
Caregivers should be alert for any signs of malnutrition in the elderly. If you believe your loved one is malnourished, speak to a doctor immediately. Mention any concerns about their weight, changes in appetite, or other health issues. To prevent malnutrition, make sure your loved one’s weight is being monitored, and any underlying medical conditions are identified and treated. A healthcare professional may be able to help you adjust your loved one’s calorie intake, prescribe vitamins and supplements, or change medications that may be interfering with their appetite.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, the staff should be monitoring them to make sure they are eating enough calories, getting the proper nutrients, and maintaining a healthy weight. Caregivers should make sure residents are eating nutrient-rich foods, are provided healthy snacks, and are given nutritional supplements, if needed.
State regulations mandate nursing facilities in Oklahoma. Nursing homes are to carefully monitor and record the nutritional needs of every resident, starting with a nutritional assessment to identify their height, weight, dietary preferences. The assessment also includes their eating habits, as well as any issues that may need special attention. Facilities must serve three meals, and snacks should be offered during the day and at bedtime. A trained or experienced dietician should be managing food services and ensuring every resident’s nutritional needs are met.
If your loved one suffered an illness, injury, or passed away while in a nursing home, and you believe it may be because of malnutrition, a Tulsa malnutrition lawyer may be able to help. If someone’s negligence and lack of care resulted in harm to your loved one, that person should be held responsible.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Malnutrition could be a sign that your loved one is not being properly cared for in their nursing home facility. Malnutrition may indicate your loved one is not receiving all of their meals, or is not being given the assistance they need to eat. According to the National Institute on Aging and The National Consumer Voice, signs of abuse and neglect may include:
- Lack of toileting or changing disposable underwear
- Lack of bathing
- Ignored call bells or cries for help
- Lack of assistance walking
- Bed sores
- Weight loss
- Unexplained bruises, burns, and/or scars
- Becoming withdrawn and losing enjoyment in activities
- Agitated or violent behavior
Nursing home abuse and neglect are illegal. If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect, you should report it immediately. It is important that you make your report in writing, that it is dated, and that it is as detailed as possible. You may wish to file a complaint with the nursing home’s administration and head staff, the local police department, adult protective services, or an agency that advocates against elder abuse and neglect.
In Oklahoma, the State Department of Health hotline number for reporting abuse in nursing facilities is (800) 842-6336. If you witness abuse as it is happening, or the situation is a medical emergency, call 911.
For a free legal consultation with an malnutrition lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 842-6336
How We Can Help
When you put your loved one in a nursing facility, you are putting their health in the hands of its staff. You are trusting them to care for your loved one with attention, kindness, and dignity.
Whether your loved one suffered from malnutrition because of intentional abuse or unintentional neglect, it is still the responsibility of the nursing home and its staff. If your loved one suffered an illness, injury, or died while in a nursing home, and you believe it was the result of malnutrition, the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek compensation.
You may be able to seek compensation for medical costs, including hospital bills, physical therapy, surgery, medications, and any other expenses related to your loved one’s treatment. You may seek a financial award to compensate for their pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. If your loved one died from malnutrition or complications from malnutrition, you may be entitled to sue for wrongful death.
Tulsa Malnutrition Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Call Us Today for Legal Support
Seeing a loved one suffer is heartbreaking, and holding their nursing home responsible for abuse or neglect should not be another burden. A Tulsa malnutrition lawyer can help you identify who or what caused your loved one’s injury and make sure they are held responsible for their wrongful or negligent actions. A lawyer can help you build your case, from gathering documentation, like medical records, to finding eyewitnesses and experts to testify on your loved one’s behalf.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm helps clients across the country with cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. We may be able to help you. Call our team for a risk-free consultation.