About 40 percent of all nursing home residents in the U.S. suffer from malnutrition and dehydration, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Malnutrition, either due to not eating enough or not getting enough essential vitamins and minerals, can result in serious, potentially fatal complications for elderly individuals – particularly for those who may already have compromised immune systems. In addition to contributing to pneumonia and serious infection, malnutrition can also result in a dramatic loss of muscle mass, falls that lead to broken bones, anemia, stroke or even death.
Like bed sores, malnutrition can be a telltale sign of nursing home abuse, so it’s crucial that families with loved ones in nursing homes are aware of the signs of malnutrition so they know when to seek help for their elderly loved ones.
Signs of Malnutrition
Indications that an elderly loved one may be suffering from malnutrition can include (but are not limited to):
- Inflamed lips, tongue and/or gums
- Loss of color in the skin
- Poor skin turgor (i.e., skin doesn’t bounce back after it’s been pinched)
- Inflammation of the lower legs
- Weight loss and noticeable loss of strength.
When Negligence Causes Malnutrition
Some of the specific types of negligence and nursing home abuse that can cause elderly residents to suffer from malnutrition include:
- Inadequate staffing that results in some patients who need assistance with feeding being neglected
- Poorly trained staff who do not know how or when to properly feed elderly patients
- Lack of adequate supervision by staff
- Staff’s reliance on liquid supplements rather than solid foods.
St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers and Lawsuits
The St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses and/or who need help navigating through the complexities of the court system.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been successfully representing our clients in nursing home abuse cases, catastrophic injury cases, traffic accident cases, workers’ compensation cases, wrongful death cases, defective product and dangerous drug cases and various other areas of personal injury litigation. Our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice in every case we handle means that we will work relentlessly to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes to their cases.
If you have noticed that your elderly loved one is malnourished and suspect that (s)he may be the victim of nursing home abuse, our Missouri and Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers encourage you to email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen and/or to call us at (573) 333-3333 for our Missouri office or at (618) 888-8888 for our Illinois office. We offer free consultations.