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What causes malnutrition in nursing homes?

On Behalf of | Oct 9, 2019 | Nursing Home, Nursing Home Abuse

Putting a loved one in a nursing home was a big decision. After being a long time recipient of their love and support, you came to realize that with your busy schedule, you alone could not provide for them. Mixed emotions often follow decisions like these. You’re happy that they’ll be provided for, but morose that they’re in their final years. The last thing you want to feel is regret.

Over the past several years an uptick in reports of nursing home negligence has caused panic and general concern about the state of assisted living facilities and the people who work there. One of the many topics in the conversation about is malnutrition.

What is malnutrition and what causes it?

You probably have a general idea of what malnutrition. Just to establish a foundation, the term revolves around getting too many or too few nutrients. A study from the Department Of Geriatric Medicine uncovered that 20% of nursing home residents suffered from malnutrition. The lack of nutrients is what tends to take center stage in discussions.

  • Dental issues: If you know that your loved one has dental issues, they may be having issues eating, as it could be very painful.
  • Mental: Depression can be an appetite suppressant, and dementia can keep people from remembering whether they ate.
  • Neglect: This is one that probably shows up in the news more. When workers are not offering up enough food to the elderly, it leaves them with empty stomachs and weak limbs.

Though the causes of malnutrition can at times be hard to see, luckily the results are more transparent. Even shifts in demeanor can be telling. While you may not consider yourself to be malnourished, you’ve undoubtedly experienced what hunger pangs can do. Witnessing a lack of focus and energy from your loved one could warrant an investigation.

Your loved one deserves the world, and there’s a chance that they’re not even getting a proper meal. While not every nursing home is committing atrocities, understaffing and other adverse conditions are creating environments that are worth looking into. If you have any questions about malnutrition or nursing home negligence, please to talk to a legal professional.