Food is a basic right, and any person in a nursing home or care environment should be given quality, nutritious foods which helps them stay healthy and strong. Unfortunately, as Hollywood nursing home abuse and negligence attorneys know all too well, cases of malnutrition do occur in nursing homes in Hollywood and across southern Florida.How Does Malnutrition Happen in Southern Florida Nursing Homes?
Elder malnutrition occurs for a number of reasons:
- Patients may refuse to eat and staff may lack the training, numbers, or will to find ways to urge them to eat
- Nursing homes may save money by buying low-quality food
- Understaffing can mean food isn't made available to everyone as often as it should
- Policies may make eating inflexible, meaning residents may need to wait hours to eat and cannot eat easily outside set mealtimes
- Food may be unappealing, making it harder for elderly to eat
- Incorrect medical care can mean staff don't consider the impact of medications and chronic conditions on appetite
- Not enough may be done to address issues of appetite, depression, or other conditions which can impact a person's ability to eat
- Snacks and smaller portions and food may not be available in between meals, making it harder for residents to make food choices
- Finicky eaters may not be catered to in nursing homes, making it harder for everyone to get equal access to food
- IV fluids and other options may not be made available when a patient becomes dehydrated or malnourished
- Signs of malnourishment may be ignored
- Medications may not be updated or staff may not adequately check to see how medications and illnesses can impact eating habits
- Adults who need help eating may not get enough support to eat properly
- Not enough monitoring may be done to ensure residents get enough calories and nutrients
When families place elderly loved ones in nursing homes, they expect their family members to get good quality meals and support at meals. When a family member becomes malnourished, they become more at risk for complications and serious symptoms. When they don't get enough nutrients, they may even suffer life-threatening medical conditions.Is My Family Member Malnourished?
Signs of malnutrition include:
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss
- Dry skin
- Easy bruising
- Clothes not fitting correctly
- Loss of interest in everyday activities
- Personality changes
- Hoarding of food
- Food-seeking behaviors
While these are not proof of malnutrition, they can be signs that something is wrong and further investigation is needed.
If you feel that a nursing home has failed to properly provide nutrients for your loved one, contact a Hollywood nursing home attorney for legal advice. This is a potentially life-threatening situation. An attorney can help you evaluate as well as your legal options for ensuring that the nursing home is held accountable.
If you’d like to speak to a Hollywood nursing home abuse and negligence attorney in a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation, contact Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. Our legal team has more than sixty years of combined experience and we have a network of investigators and other professionals to strengthen a claim.