Des Moines Nursing Home Malnutrition Attorneys
Malnutrition is an increasing, yet entirely preventable, problem among nursing home residents. If you or your loved one have suffered from malnutrition in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Des Moines nursing home malnutrition lawyers at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. can help you stop the abuse you or your loved one have been suffering. Call us today at (515) 225-2600 to learn more about your rights and options. No one should have to endure the pain and indignity of malnutrition, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Malnutrition is a severe issue that can result in death if it goes unchecked. Family members place loved ones in nursing homes with the expectation that they will receive the highest quality of care. Malnutrition is unacceptable, and it is indicative of neglect or worse. If you or a loved one have suffered abuse from a nursing home, you have enough to worry about without adding the stress of legal procedures. Enlisting the help of an experienced attorney can take that stress off of your shoulders. You can focus instead on the healing process that needs to happen for you or your loved one to move forward in life. An attorney experienced in nursing home abuse knows how to fight against nursing homes that are adept at protecting themselves. Having a skilled attorney on your side means having someone look out for you and protect your interests so that you can look out for your loved ones and protect them.
Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
Malnutrition in nursing homes is a growing problem. As more and more older adults enter nursing homes, the strain on staff members to meet each individual’s dietary needs increases. Proper nutrition is vital for good health in any population, but it is especially crucial for the sick and elderly. As our bodies age, they become more vulnerable to infections or injuries. The elderly need a sufficient daily intake of protein, minerals, and vitamins to help their bodies fight off disease. Unfortunately, nursing home residents cannot shop, prepare, or often even choose the food they eat. They are dependent on nursing home staff for their dietary needs. Far too often, nursing homes fail to take each patient’s unique needs into account when preparing meals. They may also overwork their staff, leading to neglect and malnutrition. Considering the serious consequences of malnutrition, such as organ failure and even death, it is essential to be alert as to whether you or your loved one are suffering from malnutrition in a nursing home.
How To Recognize Malnutrition In a Nursing Home Resident
If you suspect that you or your loved one is suffering from malnutrition, look out for the following symptoms of malnutrition:
- Fatigue and Weakness: The lack of sufficient nutrients leaves a malnutrition patient feeling excessively tired and weak. The muscles break down if the body has to start living off of its tissue to survive. If a body does not receive enough calories to maintain its metabolic needs, the body turns to any sources of energy it can, including the very muscles of the body. Proper nutrition must check this destructive process, or else it will rapidly deteriorate a patient’s overall health.
- Increased Infection: A body that does not receive sufficient food or nutrients is more vulnerable to infections. If your loved one has experienced an increase in illnesses or diseases, malnutrition may be at the heart of the problem.
- Weight Loss: Malnutrition often causes a dramatic decrease in body mass. Some ways to tell if your loved one has lost too much weight include sunken cheeks, poor muscle tone, and prominent bones.
- Oral Sores: Those suffering from malnutrition may develop painful, red sores in their mouths.
- Impaired Mental Function: If essential nutrients are not reaching the brain, a patient’s cognitive functions can drastically decrease.
When visiting an elderly relative in a nursing home, be sure to look out for the above signs of malnutrition. If you suspect that neglect is occurring, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer immediately.
Causes of Malnutrition in Nursing Homes
Most nursing homes strive to provide proper care of their residents, but many factors may make that difficult, including the following:
- Improper Ratio of Staff and Patients: If nursing home staff members are responsible for too many patients at a time, they may easily overlook the dietary needs of the residents.
- High Staff Turnover: Low pay and stressful working conditions can lead many nursing home staff to quit after short periods of employment. Facilities experiencing high turnover rates struggle to maintain proper care of their residents, including their unique dietary needs.
- Unique Challenges of Nutrition: The science behind nutrition is always changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest recommendations from the medical community. Nursing home staff may not put much thought into the food they are providing to residents.
If someone you love has suffered malnutrition in a nursing home, you do not have to allow this neglect to go unchecked. By contacting a nursing home lawyer, you can put an immediate stop to this treatment, can remove your loved one from this dangerous situation, and can take strong legal action against the parties responsible. Your elderly relative does not deserve this type of treatment, and the attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. will help you take a stand against it.
The attorneys at LaMarca Law Group, P.C. in the Des Moines, Iowa area are experienced in all aspects of nursing home abuse cases, including the investigation and litigation required for a successful outcome. Our firm has the experience and resources needed to take on powerful institutions. With our attorneys on your side, you can rest assured that all of your legal options will be considered and all of your legal rights will be protected. Call us today at (515) 225-2600 for a free initial consultation.