Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
It is a difficult decision to decide to place a loved one in the care of nursing home. Many people are concerned about the quality of care their loved one will be provided. It is also common for people to be worried about possible nursing home neglect or abuse. When people think about nursing home abuse they often think of physical neglect and harm. Unfortunately, physical neglect and harm do occur as do other forms of neglect and abuse such as malnutrition. While malnutrition is not as visible as other forms of abuse, it is still very dangerous and should not be occurring in nursing homes.
Malnutrition occurs when an individual eats a diet that does not have the proper amount of nutrients. It can occur if a resident is not given enough nutrients or if they are given too many nutrients. It can occur because of lack of food, but this is usually not the case in nursing homes. The more common ways for malnutrition to occur are when the resident is given the wrong serving size or something that is difficult for them to eat. If the are given the wrong serving size or unable to eat what they are given, it is possible for them not to receive the amount of nutrients that they need. Elderly are also prone to loss of appetite, so it is of the utmost importance that nursing home staff monitor them during meal time to ensure the intake of an adequate amount of nutrients.
There are some signs of malnutrition to look out for. Some of these signs include weight loss, fatigue, dizziness, fragile bones, muscle loss, dry skin and mental decline. All of these signs can signal that someone is not having their nutritional needs met. Nutrition is important for all people, but especially the elderly. Without proper nutrition it is more difficult for the elderly to fight of infections, some of which can be life threatening.
Because of the seriousness of nursing home neglect and abuse including malnutrition, nursing homes need to be very vigilant in ensuring that everyone has their nutritional needs met. If you believe that your loved one may be suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, consulting with an experienced nursing home lawyer can be helpful in ensuring that your loved on is receiving the care and attention they deserve.