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Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes

malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes

Malnutrition and dehydration are common problems for residents of poorly managed or understaffed nursing homes and assisted living facilities. As people age, their appetites often become reduced, and, the less they consume nutritious food, the weaker and less able they become to do so. Medications can also interfere with appetite and willingness to intake both food and water which can also lead to malnutrition and dehydration. As a result, weight loss can occur, physical weakness can increase, and health complications can ensue.

Nursing Home Feeding Guidelines

Proper nutrition and fluid intake for residents is the responsibility of caretakers in nursing homes and other elder care facilities. Where these facilities fail in this matter, whether from understaffing or other forms of mismanagement, residents suffer. This is a form of negligence that must be addressed.

At Sawyer Law Firm, nursing home abuse attorney JP Sawyer can provide the legal assistance and remedies you need to hold negligent facilities accountable through claims and lawsuits. Our firm has sought and obtained justice for many families throughout Montgomery and the state of Alabama whose loved ones have wrongfully suffered abuse or neglect as residents of care facilities. Let a Montgomery malnutrition attorney review your nursing home case and legal options in a free consultation. Contact us online or at (334) 539-0604.

Nursing Home Malnutrition

Malnutrition in nursing homes and care facilities can occur in many ways. Staff can fail to monitor or supervise the intake of food for residents. These residents often suffer malnutrition because they cannot properly feed themselves, experience depression, and chronic pain, suffer from the side effects of prescribed medicines, including anti-depressants and other antipsychotics, or are served bland, unappealing, improperly cooked, or lukewarm meals. In some cases, the food lacks proper nutritional value.

Nursing Home Not Feeding Patients

Residents who require assistance with eating can be served meals and then left to their own devices. Unfortunately, this commonly results in food being untouched and removed, leaving the resident without sufficient nutrition. These residents may be too embarrassed to ask for help, may have dementia and be unable to communicate properly, or be overmedicated to the point where they are barely functional. Other problems can occur by feeding residents foods they cannot tolerate or that may be dangerous to their health. Additionally, mistakes and problems can occur for residents who need feeding tubes. These mistakes can include improper insertion of the tube or wrong methods of feeding.

Signs of Nursing Home Care Malnutrition

Aside from weight loss, malnutrition can manifest in many ways, including:

  • Fatigue and lethargy

  • Bone loss

  • Muscle loss

  • Organ deterioration

  • Memory loss and cognitive function deterioration

  • Dizziness and light-headedness

  • Confusion

  • Swollen abdomen

Dehydration is equally dangerous and can result in serious health problems from migraines and headaches to dizziness, fatigue, physical weakness, and more.


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