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Adult holding hand of a senior in a nursing home

Nursing Home Malnutrition

Jeff Martin May 23, 2022

Residents in a nursing home are vulnerable to nursing home neglect in the form of malnutrition. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of malnutrition you should report the issue, and consult with your loved one’s doctor and care team, to determine how to provide them with adequate nutrition going forward. Contact us if you believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse caused by malnutrition, and we will fight to get them the compensation they deserve.

Malnutrition is defined as when a person is given too much, or too little nutrients, for their standard level of health. This can be caused by improper care from staff, poor care practices by the facility, or intentional neglect and abuse. There are also different types of malnutrition with various causes.

Physical malnutrition can be caused by physical health concerns for the nursing home resident, such as dental issues, medication interactions with nutrient absorption, abdominal pain or bloating, chronic illnesses, or hospitalizations. Dental issues can cause difficulty eating and less desire to eat because it causes pain. 

Mental malnutrition is caused by mental health issues such as dementia or depression. Lack of adequate nutrition or medications used to treat depression can cause a lack of appetite. This can worsen the already existing malnutrition. Nursing home residents who suffer from dementia may struggle to eat properly. Nursing home facilities should be aware of these issues and do everything in their power to ensure that residents receive the nutrients that they need. 

Neglectful malnutrition is malnutrition caused by staff who do not give nursing home residents enough food, or do not monitor their food intake. Nurses and staff should use proper screening tools to determine if a resident is suffering from malnutrition. You have the right to see what screening evaluations are being performed for your loved one, if you suspect that they are a victim of neglectful malnutrition. 

Malnutrition can cause many worrisome health problems for your loved one. This can include fatigue yellowing skin, bed sores, weakness, dental deterioration, weight loss, and white fingernails. Malnutrition can lead to the deterioration of health and even death. Malnutrition can lead to mental issues such as depression. Depression can cause prolonged malnutrition and lack of participation in physical activity, which leads to muscle deterioration. 

Malnutrition affects the quality of life for nursing home residents. Unreported malnutrition is a sign of nursing home abuse. In order to identify that your loved one has been a victim of malnutrition, be aware of the signs. These include yellow skin, fatigue, red or glassy eyes, thrush or canker sores, weight loss, and difficulty communicating. 

A few ways to combat malnutrition is to be aware of the signs, communicate with your loved one’s doctor and nursing home staff, and to monitor the health of your loved one during visits. Being proactive and involved in the planning of your loved one’s care can help to prevent or stop instances of malnutrition. 

If you believe your loved one has suffered from malnutrition due to nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to contact us at 918-779-0359. We will fight to get your loved one the compensation they need.