Every year, many residents of senior living facilities suffer from malnutrition, and it can lead to more serious health issues and in some cases, death. Some cases of nursing home malnutrition are caused by advanced aging, such as an inability to chew or swallow. Other causes may be from abuse or neglect by nursing home staff or other residents.
Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
Malnutrition is the state of being without proper dietary nutrition. It can occur from a lack of one or many different nutrient types. Malnutrition is not a problem that every person will experience as they age. However, many changes associated with aging often lead to malnutrition.
Malnutrition has a direct impact on the health and recovery of patients dealing with clinical diseases. Malnutrition presents many other related health risks, such as memory loss, poor concentration, heart failure, and brittle or broken bones. It can even lead to starvation and death.
When nursing home staff fails to provide for the dietary needs of their residents, it can lead to malnutrition. This failure can be unintentional negligence or intentional and egregious abuse. Pursuant to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing home staff have a duty to fulfill residents’ care plans by providing meals that meet the daily nutritional and special dietary requirements of each resident.
Nursing home staff must also monitor residents for signs of malnutrition. Monitoring is particularly important when caregivers have a reason to suspect that a particular resident may be, or already is, malnourished. Despite these policies, malnourishment still occurs at alarming rates within senior living facilities. Recent studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information have found that as much as 20 percent of US nursing home residents are malnourished.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-201-3999
Proving Malnutrition Occurred in Your Nursing Home
Nursing home staff are liable when they neglect residents and cause malnutrition injuries. You may bring a lawsuit for negligence against the nursing home, or if the resident died from malnutrition, the family may bring an action for wrongful death. Proving that a resident suffers from malnutrition because of negligence or abuse can be difficult to achieve if the victim was predisposed to malnutrition based on age-related factors. Hiring an elder abuse attorney to investigate these matters can provide a significant advantage.
To successfully bring an action for negligence against a nursing facility that caused a malnutrition injury, a plaintiff will have to present evidence showing that:
- The facility or caregiver was obligated to ensure your loved one’s adequate nutrition.
- The facility or caregiver failed to fulfill this obligation.
- The facility or caregiver’s neglect was the legal and actual cause of harm.
- The malnutrition was the cause of an injury.
If evidence can prove that substandard nursing home care caused you or your loved one’s malnutrition, you may recover your losses for:
- Past and future medical treatments.
- Pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death.
- And possibly more.
Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney for Malnutrition in Your Nursing Home
Our elder abuse attorneys do not want you or your loved one to suffer further malnutrition injuries. Treatments for injuries related to malnutrition are costly. If nursing home staff is responsible for your malnutrition injury, they are accountable and should pay for your related losses. An elder abuse attorney will work toward your recovery by performing the following services:
- Determine the aggregated value of your losses.
- Compile medical records.
- Establish causation via medical evidence.
- Take witness testimony.
- Hire medical experts.
- Work toward an adequate settlement.
- Present your claim to a judge or jury.
If you or someone in your family suffered injuries from malnutrition in a nursing home, you may recover a financial award to cover the costs of treatment and other expenses relating to the misconduct of nursing home staff. When negligent nursing home practices victimize your family, we are available to support you through this difficult time.
You do not have an unlimited period of time to initiate a claim against a neglectful nursing facility. We suggest that you act now and call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999. We do not shy away from tough cases, and we work on a contingency basis, so you do not pay any attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation.