A man has filed a Kentucky nursing home abuse lawsuit against the Evergreen Living & Rehab Center in Cook County, alleging negligence on the part of the long-term care facility in giving care to his ailing wife at the facility, which resulted in her death. The nursing home malnutrition lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff’s wife developed pressure ulcers and severe weight loss during her stay at the Evergreen Park nursing home, claiming that the woman suffered physical deterioration, malnutrition, and emotional abuse due to neglect that contributed to her death in September 2013.
Malnutrition Issues in Nursing Homes
Elderly individuals get weak as they age and thus require a good diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, to meet the growing demands of their bodies. Malnutrition is the result of a lack of proper nutrition that also causes malnourishment. If the diet served to elderly nursing home residents does not contain proper nutrition, it exposes them to undernourishment, dehydration, malnutrition, and serious health problems, which could be easily prevented with proper nutrition.
Kentucky nursing homes must ensure provision of nutritional diet to residents to nourish them properly. Unfortunately, undernourishment is widely prevalent in long-term care facilities, which amounts to nursing home negligence. Statistics claim that one-third of 1.6 million nursing home residents suffer from dehydration or malnutrition. Sadly, 85 percent of the elderly population suffers from malnutrition in some nursing homes.
Causes of Nursing Home Malnutrition Abuse
Elderly malnutrition is often a sign of neglect or mismanagement by nursing home staff.
Unfortunately, most nursing homes are understaffed, resulting in overstressed employees who often tend to ignore elderly care.
In a majority of long-term care facilities, there is a single certified nursing assistant for up to nine residents, who has to ensure that the latter receive adequate daily nutrition. In some cases, especially during evening mealtimes, the assistant may have to look after the nutritional needs of about 15 residents.
Contrarily, research reveals that the best way to offer nursing home care is to ensure that one certified nursing assistant takes care of the nutritional needs of two to three residents.
Nursing home staff inexperience may also contribute to elderly malnutrition. Research reports state that there is almost a 93 percent turnover every year in the field of certified nursing assistants that contributes to inexperienced staff with lack of proper training taking charge of elderly care and often ending up making errors.
Some nursing homes serve meals prepared with improperly stored ingredients or bland, cold, and unappetizing food that residents refuse to eat. Since most elderly residents are on a medication therapy, skipping meals could further complicate problems, causing more serious health issues.
Nursing Home Malnutrition Symptoms
- Muscular Problems & fatigue: Malnutrition in elderly can cause muscles soreness due to the muscle tissue nutrients being used up by the body to make up for the lack of proper nutrition. The malnourished person may become weak and experience dizziness or problems standing or walking.
- Mouth Signs: An elderly suffering from malnutrition may show signs of canker sores or bright red or white patches developing on the tongue and cheeks.
- Cognitive impairment: Malnourishment may affect the thinking ability of an elderly resident, making them appear irritable, confused, or listless.
- Skin issues: Lack of proper nutrition in the elderly may cause discoloration of skin, causing dull-looking complexion or wrinkling.
- Eye Signs: Vision of the malnourished elderly may keep worsening over time. Other symptoms of malnutrition may include swollen corneas and red, glassy eyes.
Some other elderly abuse symptoms include:
- Dry skin
- Tooth decay
- Fragile bones
- Bloated abdomen
- Memory loss
- Swollen or bleeding gums
Elderly Abuse Malnutrition Lawsuits
If nursing home facilities perform their duties of care toward the elderly residents, malnutrition can be prevented. It is critically important that the caregiver monitors dietary intake of residents by reviewing the amount and quality of food being served and ensuring that the patient takes enough calories every day. Nutritional supplements should be provided for residents who are not able to take in adequate nutrition through food.
If you notice signs of malnutrition in your elderly loved one, it is important to speak out and demand explanation from the nursing home for not doing its duty of care toward the residents. Contact our experienced nursing home abuse attorney at 1-800-632-1404 for legal consultation. You have a potential nursing home malnutrition lawsuit against the long-term care facility.