Studies show that nutritional deficiencies are common among U.S. nursing home residents, including those in South Carolina. Estimates say that 35 to 85 percent of elderly adults in long-term care facilities experience malnutrition.
Malnutrition occurs if the body does not get enough nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Malnutrition in an older adult can cause physical weakness, which may lead to falls that cause serious injury and increase the risk of infections and other medical problems that can be deadly.
We expect that a loved one who is entrusted to the care of a nursing home will be properly cared for, which includes proper feeding and nutrition.
Federal law that sets out the rights of nursing home residents says that residents’ health or well-being should not decline because of the way a nursing home provides care.
If you believe your loved one has suffered from malnutrition at a South Carolina nursing home, Joye Law Firm can help. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can investigate and take action to improve how a resident is treated. You may be able to obtain compensation for the medical bills and pain and suffering of a neglected nursing home resident.
Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential review of your nursing home claim.
The Problem of Malnutrition in Nursing Home Residents
Elderly adults are at a higher risk than younger people for malnutrition and for serious consequences from nutritional deficiencies. Malnutrition in the elderly, ill or infirm can lead to a fast decline in health and possibly death.
The weakness and fatigue caused by insufficient nutrition can make a nursing home resident more likely to fall, which is a leading cause of accidental injury in older adults. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies make fractures more likely in a fall, including hip fractures, which frequently lead to disability and premature death in the elderly.
Malnutrition may also lead to:
- Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
- Postural hypotension (dizzy spells or “head rush”)
- Anemia (blood deficiencies leading to pallor and weariness)
- Cognitive problems (confusion and impaired reasoning)
- Slower wound-healing
Severely malnourished nursing home residents typically become weaker or more easily exhausted, which leads to their being less active and perhaps apathetic. They may refuse to eat, and eventually die if not treated.
Many older adults eat less and are filled up more easily than younger adults. Oral health problems, such as sore gums, or physical impairments, including problems with chewing and swallowing, and changes in taste and smell can cause a person to lose interest in eating. Other physical and mental impairments can cause difficulty with eating and nutritional intake. One study points out that malnutrition is a predictor of death for nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease.
Nursing homes have a duty to ensure that residents are properly fed or provided nutritional supplements that ensure their health. A nursing home resident who has become malnourished is a victim of neglect. They require immediate medical assistance – and help from an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer.
We Can Help Malnourished Nursing Home Residents
Joye Law Firm can help if a loved one in a South Carolina nursing home is showing signs of malnutrition.
Sometimes family members recognize that a loved one has been neglected only when medical complications arise or their family member has died unexpectedly. Managers of a nursing home that have allowed a resident to become malnourished may deny responsibility or obscure the facts of the case to protect themselves and their company from liability. A nursing home resident suffering from malnutrition may be unable to understand or explain what is happening to them.
An independent investigation of how your loved one was treated prior to his or her medical decline can reveal what has happened. The threat of a lawsuit by an attorney who has experience with nursing home neglect cases in South Carolina may be enough to make a facility’s management more responsive to questions and concerns.
Joye Law Firm’s nursing home neglect lawyers can seek compensation for residents of long-term care facilities who have been injured by neglectful care in South Carolina. We can help you obtain appropriate medical care for a malnourished loved one, and help you pursue a legal claim for compensation for your losses.
Contact Our Experienced S.C. Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
If you suspect a family member in a nursing home or similar long-term care facility in South Carolina has suffered due to malnutrition, Joye Law Firm wants to help you. You or your loved one may be entitled to compensation for medical care, pain and suffering and other losses.
Call Joye Law Firm now or complete our online contact form for a free and confidential initial consultation about the legal options available.
- National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform – Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes: Key Issues in Prevention and Treatment
- National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Residents’ Rights