Loss of appetite is not uncommon in elderly people. Whether through normal eating, nutritional supplements, or intravenous fluids, nursing home residents must be adequately nourished. The Nursing Home Reform Act established a standard of care that must be met by nursing home staff. It is the moral and legal responsibility of nursing homes and care facilities to care for residents, including care regarding nutrition and hydration. While most residents live a healthy life fully supported by the staff, others are not so lucky. If your loved one has been impacted by the neglect of a nursing home staff, it is important to discuss his or her situation with an effective legal team. For over 30 years, Trombly & Singer, PLLC has provided effective legal services for clients and their families impacted by nursing home neglect. If you need a law firm to assess your situation, contact Trombly & Singer, PLLC today.
What Causes Nursing Home Malnutrition?
Immobility of many patients contributes to a lack of appetite. Unfortunately, institutional dining is also not particularly appealing. Aside from the loss of appetite among older people, many illnesses make chewing or swallowing difficult. We do not expect our grandparents or elderly parents to look as healthy as they did a generation ago but malnutrition can cause them to look very unhealthy in the following ways:
- Weight loss and loose fitting clothing
- Protruding bones
- Poor skin quality
- Cracks around the mouth
- Pale lips
- Tooth loss
- Sunken eyes
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Hair falling out
- Wounds that do not heal
- Mental confusion or lethargy
- Bed sores
Ultimately, malnutrition can lead to reduced immunity, pneumonia, muscle weakness, immobility and falls, infection, and death. This is why it is critical to have nursing home staff that does everything to ensure each resident is as healthy as possible. When they ignore obvious signs of malnutrition, it can constitute neglect.
Duties of Caregivers In Nursing Homes
Nurses and aids should proactively encourage and assist residents by monitoring food and water intake. If your family member has suffered dehydration or malnutrition, do not accept any excuse. Contact a Washington, D.C., malnutrition attorney at Trombly & Singer, PLLC if you suspect a problem. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and offer options which may include litigation.