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Nursing Home Neglect - Malnutrition

Everyone needs to get the appropriate amount of food and water during the day, and for elderly nursing home patients, this nutrition is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. When nursing home residents are not getting the food and nutrients they need to live, they can begin to suffer from malnutrition.

While the risks and dangers of malnutrition can be corrected fairly easily if it is not serious, more severe forms of malnutrition can be life threatening. At Cullan & Cullan in Phoenix, Arizona, our nursing home abuse attorneys are also doctors who have the knowledge and experience to identify malnutrition and help obtain compensation from the nursing home that has caused it.

Malnutrition can occur from a number of different circumstances in elderly individuals. Some of the reasons nursing home residents can begin to suffer from malnutrition include:

  • Drug and Food Interactions – Sometimes, nursing home residents are unable to keep food down as a result of the medications they are currently taking; a change in prescription may be necessary to keep them healthy
  • Drug Side Effects and Errors – Nursing home resident suffering from diseases like cancer my not feel hungry because of the intense sedatives and pain killers they are given
  • Depression – When nursing home residents are depressed, they may not feel like eating; depression can result from overmedication and even nursing home neglect
  • Overmedication – All too often we get complaints from family members that their loved one is taking too many medications; these medications can build up and cause loss of appetite, lack of coordination, and even dementia
  • Punishment – We have seen instances of abusive nursing home staff intentionally putting food and water out of reach of residents so that they are physically unable to get the food or water they want

While you may think malnutrition can be easily fixed with proper diet and food supplements, this is not always the case. When malnutrition is advanced, it can cause organ malfunction and require extended hospitalization and intravenous feeding.

No matter what has caused your older family member’s malnutrition, nursing homes are supposed to help find ways to provide them the nutrients they need to live.

If you suspect your loved one’s nursing home of cause their malnutrition, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Cullan & Cullan today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (602) 786-8860.


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