Nursing Home Negligence

Not all nursing home abuse injuries are as obvious as broken bones from falls or bruising from physical assaults. Some of the less apparent forms of neglect are the most common and most dangerous for nursing home residents because of the long-term injuries that this neglect causes. Two of the most common forms of nursing home abuse caused by staff neglect are malnutrition and dehydration.

Dehydration and Malnutrition

Dehydration and malnutrition (including anemia and sudden weight loss) are strong indicators of a nursing home being understaffed or of negligence occurring. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to feed a person safely and sufficiently. Too often nursing homes have too few staff for the task.

Malnutrition & Nursing Home Neglect

Our elders in Georgia nursing homes need special care. One of the reasons why elderly residents are in a Georgia nursing home is to ensure their needs are met. One of these most basic needs is nutrition. Malnutrition occurs for a number of reasons in the elderly—but none of the following reasons justify neglect.

Growing older can deaden the senses, including the sense of taste. Some medications can make food bland or taste funny. Dementia can also play a role as can dysphagia (swallowing disorders), ill-fitted dentures, and even depression. Our lawyers have met dangerously malnourished nursing home residents who simply weren’t hungry.

Still, whether or not your loved one in a nursing home was bedridden or wasn’t hungry, it is the responsibility of nursing home staff when residents do not receive proper hydration or are allowed to miss eating times or otherwise fall through the cracks because of mismanagement and neglect.

Nursing home malnutrition is not caused only by missing meals. A balanced diet is also required. Otherwise, protein/energy under-nutrition (PEU) may occur, which can lead to low blood pressure, anemia, and other dangerous conditions. Without proper vitamins and minerals, the malnourished body will begin to eat its own tissues for energy in a medical condition known as cachexia.

Dehydration & Nursing Home Neglect

Most of the body’s variable weight is in water. If you notice drastic weight loss, dehydration may be a culprit.

Dehydration, indicated by a rapid weight loss of greater than 3 percent of body weight, can result from increased fluid losses from diarrhea, sweating, medications, internal bleeding, or decreased fluid intake.

Neglected nursing home residents suffering dehydration are more susceptible to urinary tract infections, pneumonia, decreased mental ability, and bedsores. Nursing home death from dehydration is surprisingly high.

Taking Action with a Nursing Home Lawyer

Malnutrition and dehydration can promote injuries associated with infections, pressure ulcers (bedsores), anemia, cognitive problems, decreased wound healing, suppressed immune systems, and death. When not properly nourished, bones become brittle, organs shut down, and the body begins to eat itself.

Nursing homes, and increasingly those owned by holding companies who have no interest in providing proper health care to the elderly, cut costs by reducing the quality of training and number of staff caring for nursing home residents. Many of these gladly pay nursing home regulators’ fines from the substantial profits they make off Medicare, and Medicaid payments.

Help this law firm improve nursing home conditions, and make sure your family is compensated, should a nursing home’s cutting costs hurt your loved one. If you suspect your elder in a nursing home has suffered the effects of malnutrition, dehydration, or other forms of nursing home neglect, contact our personal injury lawyers today.

Contact us online or call us at 404-354-2363 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

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