Malnutrition in a Nursing Home
When you admit your loved one to a nursing home, the expectation is that the medical professionals at that facility will attend to the physical needs of your loved one, which, at the most basic level, requires proper hydration and nutrition. Unfortunately, however, both the physical condition of an elderly patient, as well as the quality of his/her environment and care, can lead to malnutrition that, in the worse cases, can be deadly.
If your loved one suffered from malnutrition during or after a nursing home stay, he/she may be entitled to compensation for any injuries and losses. If your loved one died as a result of malnutrition in a nursing home, you have our deepest condolences. Dealing with the death of a loved one can be difficult, especially if it could have been prevented. If you feel that your loved one died as a result of nursing home negligence, contact the law firm of Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith for experienced and qualified legal help.
The distinguished, highly skilled nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Firm of Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith have more than 30 years of experience in handling cases involving nursing home abuse, neglect & assault. We recognize that these cases can be extremely emotional and we strive to provide the most compassionate and committed representation.
Causes of Malnutrition
Tragically, malnutrition is a common cause of nursing home deaths, as elderly patients may not receive proper nutrition due to physical and/or environmental factors. Physical factors may include:
- Illness preventing their bodies from effectively absorbing nutrients
- Negative interactions between medications and food
- Oral problems, such as lack of teeth, mouth sores or poorly fitting dentures
- Problems swallowing
- Tremors, preventing patients from being able to feed themselves
Environmental factors that can lead to malnutrition may include:
- Inexperienced or poorly trained nursing home staff (who are unfamiliar with the signs and symptoms of malnutrition)
- Lack of attention from the nursing home staff
- Failure to promptly diagnose and treat the early indications of malnutrition
Signs of Malnutrition
Your loved one may be suffering from malnutrition if (s)he starts to experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart or digestive problems
- Muscle weakness, which can result in falls and broken bones
- Paler skin color
- Weight loss
If your loved one begins to develop any combination of these malnutrition symptoms, have a professional physician give him or her a thorough exam as soon as possible. The sooner malnutrition is diagnosed and treated, the faster the recovery time, and the more favorable the prognosis will be.