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Malnutrition in Illinois Nursing Homes Can Lead to Serious Illness or Death

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

 Cook County Nursing Home Neglect LawyerElderly bodies have particular needs that must be met every day, including proper nutrition from food and drink, as well as vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that are tailored to each person's needs. Elderly nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to many ailments that can result from malnutrition, especially because many residents struggle to articulate what they are feeling or what they need. 

When nursing home staff fail to provide their residents with appropriate nutrition or sufficient hydration, the consequences can be devastating. Some studies estimate the problem of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes to be so severe that out of roughly 1,600,000 nursing home residents about one-third of them suffer from some kind of malnourishment. It can be difficult to spot signs of malnutrition in your loved one, but if you are worried that they are suffering from sudden or mysterious fatigue, mouth sores, or vision loss, consider speaking with an experienced nursing home injury attorney right away. 

How Does Nursing Home Malnourishment Develop? 

Unfortunately, the primary cause of malnourishment or dehydration in nursing homes is a result of staff who are overworked, careless, or who simply have a lack of concern for their charges. Inadequate staffing levels can force even the most well-meaning employees to compromise appropriate nutrition and attention to residents’ care. Staff turnover rates at nursing homes are quite high, leading to sufficient training and avoidable mistakes. Proper management, hiring practices, and training regimens at nursing homes can prevent most or all of these staffing problems. 

Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration in Elderly Loved Ones

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether an elderly individual is suffering from dehydration and malnutrition, since older bodies are often underweight and can be in poor health for other reasons. However, there are some common symptoms of malnutrition that can be cause for concern: 

  • Eye and vision problems - If a resident’s eyes are red, swollen, or if their vision has deteriorated, malnourishment could be to blame. 

  • Weakness and fatigue - Malnourished muscles and bones cannot function properly, leading to uncharacteristic tiredness and difficulties with mobility. 

  • Oral health degeneration - Redness, canker sores, thrust, and even yeast infections are all oral conditions that can be caused by insufficient nutrition. 

Consult a Cook County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

If you are concerned about your loved one’s care in a nursing home, it is important to act quickly. Signs of malnutrition can be easy to miss in the elderly, but malnutrition can lead to rapid decline. At Schwartz Injury Law, our Chicago, IL nursing home attorneys have experience working with many different neglect cases and can help you determine whether you have a case for financial damages. Call us today at 312-535-4625 to schedule your free consultation. 

 

Sources:

https://www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org/neglect/malnutrition-issues/ 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1452&ChapterID=31 

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