Columbia Malnutrition Lawyer
Nursing home patients are at the complete mercy of their caretakers. Sadly, abuse and neglect are common in nursing homes, and one of the leading types of neglect is malnutrition. Nursing homes are often understaffed, and the staff they do have is often undertrained, overworked, or simply unfit to do the job. No matter the excuses put forth by the nursing home, if your loved one has suffered malnourishment or dehydration, the Columbia malnutrition attorneys at Simmons Law Firm can help you pursue justice.
When Malnutrition is a Form of Negligence and Abuse
According to research published in the National Library of Medicine, 20 percent of nursing home residents have some form of malnutrition. As people age into more advanced years, their appetite generally decreases. There are a number of reasons for this, including loss of taste and smell; reduced caloric expenditure; difficulty swallowing, chewing, and handling tableware according to the Mayo Clinic; digestive issues; illness; dementia; depression; and reduced social contact. However, it is the job and duty of nursing home staff to ensure that their patients are properly fed and hydrated, and when malnutrition or dehydration reach a certain stage, the patient’s life becomes endangered. Examples of nursing home malnutrition caused by negligence include:
- Failure to provide eating assistance—Many elderly residents in nursing homes have difficulty feeding themselves. Nursing homes have a duty to help feed these vulnerable residents. Whether the staff was improperly trained and educated, or they were simply being lazy, the nursing home can be held liable for failure to assist feeding.
- Over reliance on liquid diets—Liquid diets and intravenous supplements and hydration can be used for short periods of time when a patient is unable or unwilling to eat solid food. However, no one can maintain their health on a liquid diet alone. When nursing homes rely too heavily on liquid supplementation and food, the patient suffers.
- Failure to make specialized meal plans—Whether a patient simply needs more food because of their size, they have an allergy to eggs, or they require specialized nutrients such as iron, this must be taken into consideration and implemented by the nursing home. The diets of nursing home residents, just like everyone else, are not one size fits all.
- Intentional withholding of food—Most nursing home staff are not cruel people, but unfortunately there are those who taunt, tease, and punish residents by withholding food.
Damages in a Malnourishment Claim
Malnourishment can lead to improper wound healing, brittle bones, a weakened immune system, depression and lethargy, weakness, illness, and death. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s malnourishment and their damages, you may be able to file a lawsuit for the following significant damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Ongoing medical care;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of joy of life;
- Emotional distress; and
- Funeral or burial expenses if the malnourishment resulted in death.
Contact a Columbia Malnourishment Attorneys Today
Malnourishment can drastically reduce a nursing home resident’s quality of life, and set them up for disastrous health caused by a weakened body and immune system. Your loved one deserved better. Call Simmons Law Firm Columbia malnourishment attorneys at 803-779-4600 to seek compensation and justice.