Noticing that your loved one in the nursing home has suddenly lost weight or hair is upsetting. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), unintentional and worrying weight loss is a loss of 5% of body weight or more in a time period of 6-12 months. The AAFP also states that mortality increases in the elderly suffering from this type of weight loss.
Not only are older persons with sudden unexplained weight loss more likely to die, they can also suffer from a wide range of other serious health problems such as increased risks for fractures, increased risk for infections, bedsores, and a general decline in health.
Rapid weight loss or hair loss are signs that something is wrong with your loved one. If the nursing homes failed to detect weight and hair loss, or failed to act on these signs, you could take legal action. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free case evaluation and learn how a Tulsa rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer may help.
Reasons for Rapid Weight and Hair Loss in the Elderly
There can be many causes for rapid weight and hair loss, and the reasons your loved one is experiencing these troubling signs can be hard to detect. There could be psychological reasons such as depression or social isolation resulting in a loss of appetite, for example. Sometimes, a medical condition or medication can lead to rapid weight or hair loss in an elderly person. Some reasons for rapid weight and hair loss can also include:
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Problems swallowing (dysphagia)
- Staff not assisting with eating and drinking
- Nursing home meals with low nutritional value
- Overdosing on medications or interactions of medications
- Dental problems
If your loved one has suffered from weight loss you can talk to them and nursing home staff in order to find out why they are losing weight. If there is a simple explanation, such as ill-fitting dentures, you can address and remedy the problem quickly.
However, in general, the nursing home has the responsibility for detecting and addressing any rapid weight and hair loss promptly. If you feel that nursing home staff ignored your relative’s weight and hair loss, leading to further health problems, serious illnesses, or even death, the nursing home might be negligent. Speaking to a member of our team and learning how a Tulsa rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer may assist can help you weigh your legal options.
Weight Loss and Malnutrition
Rapid weight loss and malnutrition go hand in hand in the elderly. Unfortunately, malnutrition is a common complaint in nursing homes. According to Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, around 20% of nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition, with mortality a major consequence.
Malnutrition can be serious. Signs of malnutrition, apart from unexplained rapid weight or hair loss, can be:
- Fragile bones and overall weakness
- Memory loss and cognitive decline
- Delayed wound healing
- Susceptibility to infections
- Confusion and dizziness
- General fatigue
By law, nursing home residents have rights to adequate care and medical attention in the nursing home. According to the Nursing Home Reform Act 42 U.S. Code § 1395i–3, a nursing home must provide, “services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.” This also includes identifying and addressing any medical problems in a timely manner.
If a nursing home does not have enough staff on site and is unable to fulfil the needs of each resident, or staff lacks training and qualifications in order to detect the signs of weight loss, the nursing home could be liable for your loved one’s suffering. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and find out if you could receive compensation.
For a free legal consultation with an rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Liability
In general, the nursing home is responsible for your loved one’s health and care, and staff should monitor the health and condition of your loved one on a regular basis. Staff should notice any loss of weight or hair before you do. If nursing home staff did not detect weight and hair loss, and your relative suffered physical or mental deterioration, medical problems, or even died as a result of this negligence, you may be able to sue the nursing home.
The nursing home may also be directly responsible for the weight loss and hair loss of your loved one, for example by not providing sufficient assistance with eating or drinking. However, even if your loved one suffered from an illness or condition that caused the weight or hair loss, the nursing home may be indirectly responsible for not addressing any problems with a physician quickly. The nursing home could still be liable for any injuries or costs resulting from ignoring weight loss and hair loss.
If you suspect that the nursing home is responsible for the deterioration of your loved one, or their death, you should consider hiring a Tulsa rapid weight loss or hair loss lawyer who may be able to help you with holding a nursing home accountable.
Tulsa Rapid Weight Loss or Hair Loss Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases
If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you might be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home. You could receive compensation for any medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, transportation costs, and pain and suffering of your loved one, as well as other compensation.
However, nursing home law is complex, with several federal and state laws protecting nursing home residents. Nursing homes are likely to fight any claims tooth and nail. Having the help of a lawyer for filing any lawsuits and representing you in court can give you peace of mind and free you up to spend time with your loved one.
If a nursing home neglected your loved one, we may help you get justice and compensation. We can assist with all aspects of the case, including collecting evidence and consulting with expert witnesses. There are no upfront costs for you as we work on a “no win no fee” basis.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now to speak to someone from our team and determine whether you have a case against a negligent nursing home.