Nursing Home Negligence - Malnourishment

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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Malnourishment is a somewhat widespread problem in Florida nursing homes. If your loved one is experiencing this health problem, speak with to Freedland Harwin Valori, PL, for a consultation. Your loved one might have the right to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.

When caring for an elderly person, a nursing facility must pay special attention to diet. Most senior citizens require specialized diets with appropriate vitamins and nutrients to meet the demands of their bodies. Nursing home facilities must make sure residents receive the proper nutrients to prevent malnutrition.

Signs of Elderly Malnutrition

Statistics show about 533,000 nursing home residents suffer from some kind of malnourishment in the United States. In some especially negligent nursing homes, as much as 85% of residents can show signs of malnutrition. The first step in acting against malnutrition in a nursing home is detecting it – ideally in time to prevent any serious or long-term harm to residents. While malnutrition will affect different seniors in various ways, some of the most common symptoms can include:

  • Unexplained or significant weight loss
  • Pale, yellowed, or excessively wrinkled skin
  • Canker sores or redness in the mouth
  • Red or swollen corneas or deteriorated vision
  • Debilitated or flaccid muscles
  • Prolonged fatigue
  • Changes in cognitive abilities
  • Irritation or listlessness
  • Dementia or confusion
  • Higher propensity for injuries
  • Abrupt or unexplained decline in health

As someone with a family member in a Florida nursing home, you may notice the signs of malnutrition during a visit. If so, inquire about how the facility feeds its residents. Visit at lunch time to see what types of foods and portions the facility provides. There are many cases in which nursing homes mismanage, neglect, or abuse elderly residents, resulting in poor nutrition and related health problems. The facility might have a staffing problem or be trying to save money by failing to feed residents properly. If you suspect neglect or abuse related to a loved one’s malnutrition or notice signs of malnourishment at a nursing home, contact us for assistance.

When to Call an Attorney for Elder Malnutrition

Malnutrition is an entirely preventable issue in a nursing home or long-term living facility. The facility has a legal obligation to provide adequate food and water to residents, in accordance to their specific needs and dietary restrictions. Failure to do so, resulting in elder malnutrition or dehydration, is negligence in the eyes of the law. A lawyer from Freedland Harwin Valori, PL, might be able to help you prove negligence and recover money damages for the elderly individual’s losses. Compensation can make up for damages such as:

  • Malnutrition-related injuries, illnesses, and medical costs
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering from being malnourished
  • The senior’s lost quality of or enjoyment of life
  • The family’s medical bills and costs of caring for the senior
  • The wrongful death of a loved one due to malnutrition
  • Funeral/burial costs and loss of consortium in the event of wrongful death

You should discuss the possibility of bringing a lawsuit for elder malnutrition as soon as you become aware of the situation. The day you realize that your loved one is malnourished, contact our Fort Lauderdale law offices. We will listen to your story and let you know if your case has merit as a personal injury or wrongful death claim in Florida. If so, will be able to represent your family during settlement negotiations and litigation against the responsible nursing home and/or individual. We will work hard to bring the wrongdoer to justice and to secure financial recovery for your family.

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