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Did nursing home neglect lead to malnutrition in your loved one?

Placing your loved one's care in the hands of staff members at a Texas nursing home may have been a difficult decision for you. You know that some facilities can seem impersonal or possibly not provide your loved one with the care and attention he or she really needs. Still, you knew you did not have the ability to ensure your family member received proper care at home, so utilizing a nursing facility was your next best option.

At first, you may have seemed happy with the facility, its staff members, the care your loved one received and other aspects of the situation. However, more recently, you began to notice your family member's health seeming to deteriorate, and you wondered whether the staff was providing him or her with necessary assistance.

Is malnutrition a concern?

Unfortunately, many nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition when they do not receive the help they need. In some cases, residents may have mobility issues that make it difficult for them to lift utensils to feed themselves, have difficulty swallowing, take medications that make them feel nauseous or experience other factors that may result in their needing more attention and assistance to ensure that they receive the nutrients they need.

If you notice any of the following signs of malnutrition with your loved one, you have reason to feel concerned:

  • Loss of weight, including fat, muscle and body tissue
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feeling cold
  • Seeming depressed
  • Having difficulty concentrating

As you undoubtedly know, these symptoms could cause serious health concerns on their own, and if they do point to malnutrition, your loved one may need immediate medical attention.

How did this happen?

As mentioned, various factors can result in individuals having difficulty eating or otherwise getting the nutrients they need. However, it is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to provide assistance during meal times to ensure that patients eat, whether that means a staff member feeding a patient or monitoring a patient to ensure he or she feeds him or herself. If staff members do not take these steps, malnutrition is a serious possibility.

If you believe that nursing home negligence resulted in your loved one suffering from malnutrition, you may feel a myriad of emotions. Though getting your family member the medical care he or she needs is certainly your top priority, you may also want to hold responsible those who allowed this to happen. If so, you may want to consider filing a legal claim for nursing home neglect against the facility.

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