Louisville Lawyer for Victims of Malnutrition in Kentucky Nursing Homes
Providing proper nutrition is among the most basic obligations that nursing homes have to their residents. For residents who are unable to provide for their own needs, the care of nurses and other staff members is critical to ensuring that they get the nutrients they need to live safe, healthy, and comfortable lives. Unfortunately, studies have shown that an astonishing number of nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition.
At Gladstein Law Group, PLLC, we provide experienced legal representation for individuals and families suffering as a result of nursing home malnutrition. In a nursing home, malnutrition should not happen. If you or a loved one is not getting the food or medical attention necessary to prevent malnutrition, we can help you stand up for your legal rights.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Malnutrition
By some estimates, as many as 40 percent of nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition. This is true even though many elderly individuals who live in nursing homes do so specifically because they need help making sure their basic needs are satisfied. Residents’ care plans should include provisions accounting for nutritional requirements – including assistance eating and dietary restrictions – and then nurses and staff members should be adequately trained to meet each resident’s needs. When a resident’s nutritional needs are not met, the nursing home may be liable for abuse or neglect.
Risk Factors for Malnutrition
Due to various health conditions, individuals among the elderly population are often at increased risk for suffering from malnutrition. However, this does not mean that malnutrition is okay. Rather, what it means is that nursing homes owe a duty to take the precautions necessary to ensure that at-risk residents are getting the nutrients they need. Some of the common risk factors for malnutrition among senior citizens include:
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
- Muscle weakness
- Neurological problems
- Parkinson’s disease
- Poor dental and oral hygiene
- Problems swallowing
In addition, injuries resulting from other forms of nursing home neglect and abuse can put residents at increased risk for malnutrition as well. For example, an elderly resident who has been injured in a fall may no longer be mobile enough to feed him- or herself. Similarly, pressure ulcers (bedsores) can leave residents in severe pain, unable to tend to their basic needs. In these situations, nursing homes must adapt to ensure that injured residents do not suffer from malnutrition.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from malnutrition in a nursing home, it is important to get help as soon as possible. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away:
- Colon, bowel, and other gastrointestinal problems
- Confusion and memory loss
- Depression and mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen gums or thyroid
- Tooth decay
- Unplanned and unexpected weight loss
The Effects of Malnutrition
Malnutrition can have serious, lasting effects. Elderly individuals who suffer from severe malnutrition can experience irreversible complications, and these complications can often lead to painful and disabling medical conditions. These conditions often correlate back to risk factors for malnutrition, creating a dangerous cycle that requires long-term skilled and experienced care. The consequences of malnutrition can include:
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Impaired brain and muscle function
- Increased risk of bacterial and viral infections
- Increased risk of broken bones and other serious injuries from falls
- Heart problems
- Loss of muscle mass and impaired organ function
- Low blood pressure
- Slower healing of wounds
These conditions often to lead to expensive medical bills, therapy and rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and a reduced quality of life. In many cases, they can be fatal.
Fighting Back Against Nursing Home Malnutrition
To get the help you or your loved one needs, it is important that you speak with a nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible. You have rights, and protecting those rights requires experienced legal representation. Sadly, nursing homes often put their own interests first. In many cases, they will take extreme action to quiet victims and protect their bottom lines. At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we can make sure your voice is heard, and we will do everything in our power to make sure you receive the care and compensation you deserve.
Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | Louisville, KY Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered from malnutrition in a nursing home, we encourage you to contact us for a *free consultation. To learn more about your legal rights, contact attorney Seth Gladstein or call Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC at (800) 991-0474 today.
*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Among many settlements, Gladstein Law Firm has recovered: $1.8 Million settlement for medical malpractice case involving negligent performance of hysterectomy (Christian Circuit Court); $1.75 Million medical malpractice case involving negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat lung cancer (Jefferson Circuit Court); $550,000 settlement for failure to diagnose prostate cancer (pre-litigation settlement); $500,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat an impending stroke after brain surgery (Jefferson Circuit Court); and $195,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat a potentially life-threatening heart condition (Macon Co., N.C.; served as co-counsel) Click here to see some of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC’s successes. Client pays costs only upon recovery.