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Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys > Blog > General > When is Malnutrition Nursing Home Abuse?

When is Malnutrition Nursing Home Abuse?


When loved ones are admitted to a nursing home, you trust and expect that they will receive the care they need. Nursing home administrators and staff members have a legal duty to make sure the health and safety needs of all residents are met, including their dietary needs. Unfortunately, nursing home personnel do not always ensure these needs are met, and that can result in residents suffering from malnutrition.

Malnourishment occurs when a person does not receive sufficient food, or they do not eat a well-balanced diet rich with the right nutrients and vitamins. Malnutrition can be life-threatening, particularly for those who are of an older age and decreased health. One study found that up to 20 percent of residents in nursing homes suffer from malnourishment in some form.

What Obligations Do Nursing Home Staff Members Have to Avoid Malnutrition? 

There are multiple factors that can result in malnourished nursing home residents, but one of the most alarming is due to negligent staff members. Many facilities across the country are struggling with understaffing and high turnover rates. Still, this is no excuse for staff members to not provide the proper care that is expected of them. All nursing home staff members have certain duties to ensure their residents are properly nourished, and these include:

  • Ensuring residents are getting enough to drink and eat
  • Assisting residents who are unable to feed themselves
  • Monitoring medication and any side effects that can impact hunger and thirst
  • Providing sufficient access to fluids in between meals to promote good hydration
  • Ensuring residents are mentally and socially engaged, which can promote good drinking and eating habits
  • Monitoring the general health of residents and speaking to a healthcare professional when there are issues

When nursing home staff members fail to fulfill their duty of care to residents, they are considered negligent and can be held liable for paying damages.

How to Spot Malnutrition in Nursing Home Residents 

It may seem as though malnutrition is not easy to spot, but there are signs loved ones can watch for. These include:

  • Changes in skin tone that turns it a dull or yellow color
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Eyes that are glassy and red, along with decreased vision
  • Canker sores in the mouth, advanced tooth decay, bleeding gums, and oral thrush, which is a yeast infection in the mouth
  • Decreased cognitive functions, such as memory loss or confusion
  • Weak, thin, or limp muscles and limbs
  • A bloated or swollen stomach or abdomen, particularly when the limbs are weak and thin

It is critical for all loved ones of nursing home residents to know the signs to look for so the neglect can stop and so patients can file a claim for compensation.

Our Malnutrition Abuse Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Family Claim Compensation 

If you believe your loved one has suffered from negligence in a nursing home, our Tampa malnutrition abuse attorney can help. At Kohn Law, our seasoned attorney is dedicated to helping victims of neglect and abuse, and we can put that expertise to work for you. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to request a free case review and to learn more about your legal options.




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