Elderly, infirm and disabled residents of nursing homes often need encouragement and assistance to stay well-nourished. Many are at a stage of life where they were losing their appetite. Some find the process of eating cumbersome. Medical conditions such as after-effects of a stroke can make it difficult for a previously energetic, independent person to eat well.
Doctors and caregivers often recommend finely chopped or pureed food for those who have difficulty handling cutlery, chewing or swallowing solid foods. Some are advised to have low-salt and low-sugar diets. With all the diet restrictions, nursing home residents may lose the desire to eat much. Dementia, depression and medication can also reduce a person from a hearty appetite to a negligible one. Social abandonment at mealtimes can also play a role in the development of malnourishment.
Malnutrition: A Common Sign Of Nursing Home Abuse
With all the risk factors involved, it is an integral part of the duties of nursing home personnel to encourage residents to eat. Care managers and doctors often ask for an accounting of amounts and types of food consumed at meal times. It is the responsibility of nursing aides in care homes to relay this information diligently. It is also the responsibility of the authorities to evaluate that information and take appropriate corrective actions, if necessary.
If you suspect that your elderly parent or disabled spouse in a nursing home is lethargic because he or she is malnourished, there are steps you can take. This may be a telltale sign of nursing home abuse and neglect.
If your loved one suffered a fall or came down with a serious illness and you suspect his or her weakness was due to part to insufficient food intake, ask an experienced nursing home neglect attorney to evaluate the facts and render an opinion. It is important to determine what is actually happening at mealtime. An investigation may reveal that neglect in the form of malnourishment has been taking place. You and/or your loved one may be entitled to compensation if malnourishment has contributed to serious health problems or a premature death.
In You Suspect Malnutrition In A Nursing Home, Contact A Chicago Attorney
We understand if you are not yet seeking monetary damages, but rather, answers if malnourishment or dehydration have affected a nursing home resident. If we discover that the nursing home in question has been negligent in nourishing your family member, the same may be true of other residents. The truth will point to the right course of action: a meeting with care managers, a complaint to a government agency or a claim or lawsuit? We have experience and valuable advice to share. Contact Kent M. Lucaccioni, Ltd., to schedule an initial consultation. Call 312-386-7683 or send an email message to request an appointment with an Illinois lawyer and we will respond promptly.