Chicago Nursing Home Malnutrition Lawyers
Malnutrition can lead to serious health problems in any person but can be especially dangerous for elderly adults. Since we are paying high fees for assisted living facility care, we may assume that neglect or abuse is less likely to occur.
Nursing home malnutrition and other forms of abuse continue to be prevalent issues that negatively impact millions of elderly residents yearly. Is your loved one in a skilled nursing facility suffering from inadequate nutrition and related complications? Contact a personal injury attorney for guidance on holding the responsible parties liable.
When a patient at a Chicago nursing home suffers complications or dies from malnutrition or starvation, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, are ready and capable of holding the nursing center fully accountable for its negligence. We have decades of experience in handling complex injury cases.
Our Chicago, IL nursing home abuse attorneys will provide the best possible representation to you and your loved ones. If you need an Illinois law firm to investigate and prosecute an Illinois nursing home malnutrition case, contact our office at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.
How Common Is Malnutrition in Assisted Living Facilities?
Malnutrition is a subtle form of elder abuse that can go unnoticed for an extended period. Health care workers consider up to 19% of skilled nursing residents are considered malnourished.
There is research that reveals that there is actually up to 85% of people in assisted living facilities are malnourished. Several forms of abuse, such as malnutrition, occur in a nursing home setting due to many factors.
Families of nursing home patients should be concerned whether any reports of malnutrition have been filed with an assisted living facility. The best way to prevent malnutrition is by enrolling residents in nursing facilities with a track record for providing excellent care, keeping close tabs on loved ones, and identifying any nutritional deficiencies as soon as feasible.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) has quarterly reports of facilities violating the Nursing Home Care Act. If your family member is not receiving basic care needs such as proper meals, you should report the negligence to the nursing administrator and other authorities.
How Malnutrition Occurs in Nursing Homes
Many elderly nursing home residents cannot care for themselves and depend on the staff for their daily meals, hydration, bathing, dressing, and other aspects of everyday life.
The staff is responsible for paying attention to whether patients are not consuming food.
A patient may have dental issues that prevent them from being able to consume food. Some patients may feel a lack of hunger regularly due to their medications and may refuse to eat.
In other situations, a patient may physically be unable to feed themselves. In either context, employees must be adequately trained to deal with these issues and ensure that patients receive the necessary nutrients.
Some common causes of nursing home malnutrition include a poor diet that lacks essential vitamins and nutrients, health conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients, mental illnesses, neglect to assist residents with eating, and neglect to monitor their food intake.
In nursing homes that have inadequate staffing levels, suffering from malnutrition can be just one of the several forms of neglect and abuse that results when there are too few staff members on hand to care for patients. Family members should research assisted living facilities before enrolling a family member for residency.
Staff shortages often lead to a greater risk of neglect and nursing home abuse, resulting in malnutrition. Staff shortages in assisted living facilities' kitchens could also contribute to malnourishment.
There must be enough workers to provide and care for these special needs individuals. Workers need patience and time to ensure each person is eating properly without being rushed.
It can already be challenging to assist and monitor each individual due to their different medical conditions. A staff shortage will create stress in the environment and does not allow the employees to perform their duties properly.
Allowing this negligence is dangerous to those we love and should never be tolerated or excused.
Poorly Trained Staff Members
By law, nursing homes must create a specifically tailored plan of care for each patient to address their individual physical and emotional needs. Part of this care plan addresses the nutritional requirements for each individual and may specifically address dietary requirements for those with special needs or disabilities.
Similarly, nursing homes must weigh each patient at regular intervals to determine when they are gaining or losing weight. When a patient is losing or gaining weight, the staff has a responsibility to notify the patient’s physician and or family to address how modifications can be made.
Warning Signs a Nursing Home Resident Is Not Receiving Proper Nutrition
In a nursing home setting, staff must be able to recognize warning signs of malnutrition and take appropriate steps to remedy patient issues. If the problem is not addressed, the individual can suffer from serious health complications.
Here are some of the signs that one is suffering from malnutrition:
- Rapid or gradual weight loss
- Tooth decay
- Bleeding gums
- Memory loss
- Decreased organ function
- Muscle loss
- Fragile bones / unexplained fractures
- Mental health issues
Patients suffering from these signs of malnourishment require care plan alterations and a diet to restore healthier well-being. The resident’s family notify the nursing administrator if they suspect that their loved one is suffering from malnourishment.
One way to know if there is a malnutrition issue is to monitor what and how much the resident eats.
Complications and Other Health Issues That Can Result From Nursing Home Malnutrition
When nursing home patients do not receive enough calories and vitamins, their body automatically goes into survival mode and draws upon body reserves. While this is a ‘natural’ reaction when inadequate nutritional intake is insufficient, malnutrition ultimately disrupts systemic function.
The elderly in assisted living facilities are at a greater risk of developing complications and experiencing adverse effects of malnutrition. Some of the health problems and other issues that can arise if nursing home residents are not receiving proper nutrition include:
- Weight loss
- Increased risk of broken bones
- Dental deterioration
- Yellowing of the skin
- Bed sores (ulcers)
- Slower healing of wounds
What You Should Do If Your Family Member Is Suffering From Malnutrition
Malnutrition or dehydration that occurs as a result of negligence is unacceptable. Act as quickly as possible to remove your family member from nursing home abuse.
Other forms of nursing home abuse may also be present if residents suffer from malnutrition. You should also hire a personal injury attorney to investigate what is happening and help with your claim to stop the neglect with legal action. The lawyer will:
- Research the facts of your case,
- Order medical records, and
- Gather witness statements.
You may also gather as much information as possible, such as:
- Photos of physical changes in your family member,
- Names of the negligent parties, and
- The documentation you may already have about any medical conditions.
Hiring an attorney can also help take steps, so your family receives compensation for medical bills, future medical expenses, a decline in quality of life, emotional anguish, and more. Our law firm could hold the responsible parties accountable for negligence, will allow them to face the consequences, and help your family recover losses.
Anyone suspecting abusive behavior at nursing homes can call the Illinois Department of Public Health at 1-800-252-4343.
Hire a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It can be challenging and emotional to see your loved one experience abuse from a care facility you pay for and trust will provide care and safety. Holding these nursing facilities accountable by hiring a Chicago personal injury law firm to assist with a lawsuit will ensure your family receives the compensation they deserve.
Do you suspect a family member is a victim of malnutrition or has sustained a drastic weight loss during a nursing facility stay? Our Illinois nursing home attorneys are available to help you. Our law firm serves anyone in the Chicago area, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Winnebago County, Will County, and other Illinois counties.
We have successfully prosecuted nursing home negligence cases involving patient malnutrition and injury. Our Chicago firm has established relationships with experts in skilled nursing care, nutritionists, and dieticians who we can use to help evaluate your situation.
Speak with our Chicago nursing home malnutrition lawyers during a free consultation. Contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review with our attorneys without cost or obligation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.