Malnutrition in Nursing Homes

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Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes are responsible for providing care for their residents, including proper nutrition and hydration. Despite this duty, however, malnutrition in Georgia’s nursing homes is a serious concern, and leaves countless residents frail, undernourished, and at risk of ailment or injury.

In fact, according to a study published in 2015, the rate of malnutrition amongst nursing home patients was as high as 20 percent. If you have a loved one in a nursing home in Georgia, consider the following information about malnutrition.

What Causes Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is caused by an inadequate diet. The human body need a sufficient balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, all of which contain different minerals and vitamins, as well as sources of energy, in order to function optimally. When the body is deprived of enough food, or of quality food, it becomes malnourished.

Malnourishment affects more than weight; it can affect our internal organs, immune system, bones, muscles, and even our brain, leading to depression and cognitive impairment. It is important to note that malnutrition is not just about food quality; an obese person has the potential to be malnourished if they are deprived of nutrient-rich foods.

Symptoms of Malnutrition – How to Recognize It

malnourishment nursing homesIf you have a loved one in a nursing home in Georgia, it is important that you are aware of the symptoms of malnutrition and what to keep an eye out for. Some of the symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Serious weight loss;
  • Decreased mobility;
  • Loss of muscle mass;
  • Confusion;
  • Fatigue;
  • Dizziness;
  • Trouble staying warm;
  • Increase rate of infections;
  • Slower healing times; and
  • Cognitive or emotional problems.

Malnutrition can be hard to recognize in elderly patients in a nursing home, as whether or not the elderly person is malnourished or simply aging can be hard to differentiate between. Further, elderly people and those with certain conditions may be at a higher risk of malnourishment, refusing food or experiencing difficulty when eating.  

What Should I Do If I Suspect Neglect Leading to Malnourishment?

If you suspect that your loved one is malnourished, you should speak to nursing home staff members or a supervisor immediately to see what actions can be taken to remedy the problem. If the issue is not resolved, you should report the nursing home and the problem to the appropriate Georgia agency. Then, you should contact an attorney.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Serving You

Our Georgia nursing home abuse law firm knows how hard it can be to watch an elderly loved one suffer from malnutrition and other forms of neglect within a nursing home. If you are concerned about nursing home malnutrition, please do not hesitate to take action. Our lawyers can help you to report the abuse, and pursue a civil action if necessary. To learn more, call our law firm today, or visit us online. A consultation is always free.

The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. Feel free to send comments or questions to: steve@aa-legal.com of Apolinsky & Associates, LLC, or call (404) 377-9191.

 

Photo credit: Momcilo Popov