Guide By – Nursing Home Malnutrition Attorney
One of the most common maladies experienced be senior individuals is malnutrition. Malnutrition issues at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are preventable. Yet, unfortunately, patients in the long-term care setting suffer from this ailment with an alarming frequency. When an elderly individual becomes malnourished, this is frequently a sign of elder abuse & neglect. A nursing home malnutrition attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm will zealously advocate for the rights of the victims or their families.
Malnutrition in the Elderly
Malnutrition is a common and wide-spread issue that arises in the setting of long-term care for the elderly, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. All people need a daily supply of adequate of amounts of nutrients (minerals and vitamins) in order to promote proper functioning. However, due to their weakened immune systems, other ailments, and the overall frailty, elderly individuals critically need their daily intake of appropriate nutrients. Otherwise, they quickly become malnourished.
In the United States, over 30% of all elderly individuals residing in nursing homes suffer from malnutrition. As outrageous as it may sound, at some skilled nursing facilities, the rate of malnutrition exceeds 80%. Also, in the majority of all nursing homes in the country, up to one half of patients weigh below healthy levels. While proper nutrition can prevent most maladies associated with elderly malnourishment, malnutrition leads to a number of significant complications, including even fatal outcomes leading to wrongful death cases.
Causes of Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
In the setting of elder care, understaffing is the main cause of the high incidence of malnutrition among elderly individuals. Frequently, one single member of a nursing home staff is assigned to multiple patients. Obviously, this overworked and overwhelmed staff member simply does not have the time necessary to choose and provide appropriate meals for the elderly patients.
Additionally, the lack of appropriate staff training and staff inexperience contribute to malnutrition issues among elderly patients and residents. For example, the rate of certified nurse assistant (CNA) turnover is staggering – it exceeds 90%. Obviously, this lack of continuity among care providers, and the resulting errors on the part of the staff members, play a very significant role in the lack of proper nutrition suffered by the elderly patients and residents.
Symptoms of Elder Malnutrition
Among elderly patients, due to their frailty and the weakened immune system, malnutrition may lead to serious consequences. Some of the symptoms of malnutrition are as follows:
- Impaired eyesight, cornea swelling, as well as red and glassy eyes;
- Bright red face and mouth;
- Canker sores (also referred to as “aphthous ulcers”) — shallow and small sores, which appear at the base of the gums or on the soft tissues inside a patient’s mouth;
- Thrush and yeast infection (a fungal condition entitled “oral candidiasis”), which manifests itself as white lesions on the inner checks and the tongue;
- Wrinkled skin and white spots under the fingernails;
- Flaccid muscles and fatigue caused by the slightest physical activity;
- Confusion, agitation, and irritability.
Prevention of Malnutrition in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
In order to stop the epidemic of malnutrition, nursing homes must address their notorious practice of understaffing their facilities. They also have to properly screen job applicants in terms of their training and experience, as well as implement adequate staff training protocols.
Take Action! Promptly Contact a Los Angeles Nursing Home Malnutrition Lawyer for a Free Consultation
As the Los Angeles nursing home malnutrition lawyer, Dmitriy Cherepinskiy, and his firm, aggressively and zealously pursue justice. If you or your loved one suffered or continue to suffer from malnutrition at a nursing home or an assisted living facility, this firm will fight to vindicate your rights.
If you suspect elder abuse in the form of the failure to prevent malnutrition, please call or fill out an electronic contact form today to request a free consultation. Cherepinskiy Law Firm, as the Los Angeles assisted living malnutrition attorney, will work tirelessly to bring the wrongdoers to justice, and to obtain the maximum case value and compensation you deserve.
This firm provides legal services for clients throughout California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, as well as Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
1. “Malnutrition in the nursing home”, Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care (January 2015): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25394167/
2. “Nutritional Vulnerability in Older Adults: A Continuum of Concerns”, Current Nutrition Reports (June 2015): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445877/