What can I do if I suspect someone in a nursing home is suffering from malnutrition?
It is sad to say that many nursing home residents do suffer from malnutrition, but you can make a difference.
For a variety of reasons, nursing home residents may stop eating. Sometimes this occurs because they are simply just aging, and their body needs less food to consume. Other times, a refusal to eat or not eating enough can be a sign of abuse or neglect. This often manifests itself in two ways – a fear of eating because of abusive behavior, or lack of access to food because of neglect. Both types of behavior are very dangerous and indicate a very serious issue. If you believe that someone that you care about is unnecessarily suffering from malnutrition, please get in touch with an Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Nursing homes are required to provide adequate meals at regular intervals throughout the day. These meals should be nutritionally significant, with respect to special medical and dietary needs. Workers should be trained to identify any issues that may make eating difficult, such as choking risks. In addition, staff should monitor patients to make sure that there are no unusual changes in behavior that may indicate issues. Finally, close supervision can ensure that if serious malnutrition triggers does occur, they can act quickly. By being appropriately trained, staff can ensure that there is a lower risk of permanent physical and neurological damage. Some major signs of malnutrition are:
- Sudden changes in weight
- Changes in gum and tongue appearance and texture
- Confusion and memory loss
- Muscle loss or decline
- Organ function difficulties (particularly the liver and kidneys)
If you observe any of these signs, the best thing that you can do is to act quickly. Malnutrition does not only suggest that there may be patterns of abusive and neglectful behavior occurring at the nursing home, but it can also lead to a very painful death. It may be necessary to pull your loved one from their nursing home and get immediate medical attention. In addition, getting an attorney involved may ensure that the nursing home has to end the behavior that led to your loved one’s suffering.
Discuss your Nursing Home Abuse Concerns with us
Please act right away if you have any bad feelings or suspicion of something going on at your loved one’s nursing home. The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Harvey L. Walner & Associates, Ltd. are available to discuss your case. We can be reached online any time or you may call us at (312)265-2778.