Can malnutrition rise to the level of elder neglect or abuse?
A diet lacking adequate vitamins, proteins, and minerals lead to malnutrition. It can be extremely detrimental and even deadly to the elderly. When monitoring of nutritional quality and quantity is not performed, a person in a long-term care setting can become malnourished easily. Malnutrition can be caused by numerous factors, including other health conditions, medical treatments,difficulty swallowing, the inability of the body to process foods correctly, and even dentures that don’t fit correctly. As a result, the can take longer to heal from illnesses and injuries. There are also more risks when surgery is performed and hospital stays are generally longer and more expensive. Similar to dehydration, malnutrition contributes to the development and progression of other, more serious health issues such as weakness, anemia, bedsores, weakening of the immune system, and, if not treated and corrected can lead to death.
There are several factors used to assess the risk of someone becoming malnourished including advanced age, cognitive decline, depression, isolation, poor dental health, difficulty swallowing or chewing, among other risk factors.
Unfortunately, malnutrition also occurs too often as a direct result of a skilled nursing facility’s negligence or neglect. For example, if the nursing home administration fails to staff adequately, fails to provide education concerning the importance of nutrition, relies too heavily on liquid supplements in order to meet nutritional and hydration needs. Failing to recognize and continually monitor a resident at risk for malnutrition can likely be neglect and is a sign of elder abuse.
What Our Elder Abuse Law Firm Can Do for You
When you retain the services of our dedicated elder abuse law firm, you gain access to extensive knowledge, resources, and skill in elder neglect and abuse. We assist clients in obtaining compensation for the damages caused negligent and neglectful caregivers, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. Neglect in nursing homes often results in catastrophic injury and even death and that it is why it is extremely urgent that you seek legal representation if you suspect neglect is the cause of your loved one’s malnutrition.
For help filing actions against neglectful caregivers responsible for malnutrition, contact the elder abuse attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP at (408) 956-6949
or contact us online.