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Is Malnutrition Common in Nursing Homes?

Cases of malnutrition have been reported out of healthcare facilities such as nursing homes for decades. While there are many different causes and results in cases involving malnutrition, one question still stands: just how common is malnutrition in nursing homes? This is a common concern among those considering placing their loved ones in nursing homes due to a lack of time and availability to take care of an older individual. It is strongly encouraged that, in the case of elder malnutrition in a nursing home, you reach out to a tried and trusted California elder abuse attorney such as Joel Bryant as soon as possible.

How Abuse and Neglect Play into Malnutrition

Cases of malnutrition are quite common in nursing homes. It is reported that around 20% of nursing home residents – and potentially even more – display symptoms of malnutrition at any given time. One and five people are quite a bit, especially in a system in which other people are entrusted with the care of your loved ones. One of the principal reasons that nursing home residents experience malnutrition is abuse and neglect.

Nursing home staff may neglect residents, leading to a series of issues. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse that people are aware of include physical, sexual, or financial mistreatment. Despite that, malnutrition is a common way in which elders are neglected. This is carried out in a myriad of ways.

  • Failure to properly monitor food and beverage intake (either purposefully or accidentally)
  • Failure to administer medications 
  • Absence during meals and snacks
  • And more… 

The Potentially Fatal Costs of Malnutrition 

Malnutrition can seriously jeopardize the life of a senior citizen. People who are older and are at heightened risk for medical complications are in need of all of the sustenance and nutrition that they can get. Furthermore, seniors’ bodies usually have a difficult time processing or retaining enough food and water as it is. The threat of malnutrition in nursing homes is enormous.

There are many effects that may have a huge impact on the life of the elder and their family members: 

  • Death
  • Organ failure
  • Loss of motor functions
  • Increase in infection or disease prevalence
  • Frailty and fatigue
  • Deterioration of the mental state

The Response to Californian Nursing Home Abuse

While nursing home abuse and neglect are common drivers for malnutrition in elder residents, it must be remembered that this is not the only way in which a senior citizen is able to experience malnutrition. Certain medications, self-inflicted elder abuse, mental illnesses, physical ailments, and much more can lead to a heightened risk of malnutrition. Discovering the root cause of such a life-threatening incident is critical to the survivability of your loved one.

Many people come to attorneys and legal firms in an attempt to uncover and find justice for what is happening to their loved ones. Where healthcare facilities and nursing homes may try to cover up what is actually happening behind closed doors, law firms are taking up cases to seek justice for those who cannot defend themselves. If you or a loved one suspects a case of elder malnutrition, please reach out to Joel Bryant, California nursing home malnutrition attorney.