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Phoenix Elder Malnutrition Attorneys

Elder Malnutrition in Nursing Homes is More Common than You Think

The Baby Boomers have caused an explosion of the aging population in the United States. Approximately 1.6 million people are residents in nursing homes, and about a third of these suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. And in some nursing homes, approximately 85 percent of residents suffer from malnutrition of some kind. Elder malnutrition in nursing homes occurs when residents are simply not being given the proper amount of nutrition during the day. It’s the cause of many different ailments and sicknesses, and the saddest part is that it’s entirely preventable, if only nursing homes had more staff members, and trained the staff members they have adequately.

Ideally, certified nurses and other nursing home staff members should be responsible for meeting the daily nutritional requirements of no more than two or three residents. However, during the day these staff members are often responsible for the nutrition of up to 9 residents; and that number can escalate to as many as 15 during the evening hours. In these cases, the staff members are simply caring for too many people, so they can overlook some patients or not spend the time needed with the residents to ensure they’re eating properly and getting the proper nutrition they need.

In addition to having too many residents in their care at one time, sometimes nursing homes just don’t have the proper staff needed to properly care for their patients. Nursing homes have some of the highest staff turnover rates of any other industry in the country, and so the few staff members that are present don’t always receive the proper training. Other times, adequate staffing simply isn’t there and so, elder residents don’t get the amount of care they need.

There are many different health issues that can arise from elder malnutrition in nursing homes. If you suspect a loved one isn’t receiving the proper nourishment, these are the signs you can look for:

  • Excessive red color around lips and inside of mouth, canker sores, thrush or yeast infections which appear as white spots on the cheek and tongue
  • Weak muscles, which are a result of nutrients from the muscles being taken in order to make up for the lack of nutrition
  • Blurry vision or worsened vision, swelling of the corneas, or red or glassy eyes
  • Lack of focus
  • Listlessness or extreme weakness
  • Increased irritability
  • Dementia, in the most extreme cases
  • Yellowish or jaundiced-looking skin, skin may also appear dull
  • Fingernails turning white

It’s important that every individual meet their daily nourishment needs in order to function properly. However, with the elderly, it’s even more important that they receive all of their vitamins and minerals every single day. This is because it’s very easy for elderly people to become depleted of those essential nutrients and so they constantly need to be refueling themselves. This is the only way that they can get stronger, or remain strong, when their aging bodies are already starting to falter in certain areas.

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs of elder malnutrition in a loved one, or you just suspect that they’re not getting enough to eat, there is something you can do. Start by talking to your loved one and asking them about their meals. Ask them about the quality of food, and whether or not they feel full after they’ve eaten. If, after speaking with them, you still feel as though elder malnutrition is occurring in the nursing home, call an attorney at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280.

Get a Free Consultation from The Husband & Wife Law Team

At Breyer Law Offices, P.C. we’ll review your case and call in our team of doctors and nutritional experts that will also review your loved one’s case. If they feel that elder malnutrition is taking place at the nursing home, we’ll take it to court and get you the results you’re looking for. We’ve done it before when we were prepared to take Desert Sky Health to court, and 98% of the cases we take on get positive results. Don’t spend another minute watching your loved one suffer. Call our Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers today at (602) 267-1280, and get your loved one the compensation they deserve.

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