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Elder Malnutrition Attorneys in Los Angeles

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Elder Malnutrition Attorneys in Los Angeles

Elderly individuals must have the appropriate nutrition habits to remain healthy. However, many older adults end up at risk of being malnourished if not properly cared for and watched closely.

Learning the causes and the signs of nutrition deficiencies in elderly individuals can help you spot this problem before it’s too late.

Have a loved one that may be malnourished at a long-term care facility? Call The Peck Law Group, APC @ 866-999-9085 to speak with an elder malnutrition attorney today.

What is Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is a condition that occurs to the body when it does not receive enough nutrients. The most common age group for malnutrition is in elderly people over the age of 65.

Studies have shown that approximately 2,000-3,500 elderly people die from malnutrition each year.

One of these studies demonstrated that patients living in nursing homes have a substantially higher rate of death in the first six months after they lose 10 percent of their body weight.

Another study revealed that older patients who live in long-term care facilities were four times more likely to pass away within one year if they lost five percent of their body weight in a period of one month.

Here are some common reasons elderly individuals experience malnutrition:

  • They lose their appetite due to their medications.
  • They have difficulty digesting food because of age.
  • Dental issues can negatively affect nutrition intake, making it difficult to chew food properly.
  • Nutritional assessment and treatment should be a routine part of care for all elderly persons, whether in the outpatient setting, acute care hospital, or long-term institutional care setting SUCH as Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities.

Symptoms and Signs of Malnutrition

There are many signs and symptoms to watch for when it comes to malnutrition in the elderly. Some of the common symptoms of malnutrition include weight loss, dizziness, and fatigue.

Malnutrition is often caused by one or more of the following factors: inadequate food intake; food choices that lead to dietary deficiencies; and illness that causes increased nutrient requirements, nutrient loss, poor nutrient absorption, or a combination of these factors.

It is time to be concerned if an elderly person experiences a weight loss of around 5 to 10 percent of their body weight during a period of a few months. This is considered drastic weight loss, which is not a part of the normal aging process.

Elderly individuals experiencing malnutrition are more at risk of additional health problems including:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues
  • Lung and heart problems
  • Poor skin integrity
  • Anemia – Low red blood cell count or low stores of iron
  • Muscle weakness – Someone who has muscle weakness is more susceptible to falling and bone fractures.

Malnutrition in a Hospital, Skilled Nursing, and Long-Term Care Facilities Present Additional Factors that Influence and / or Show Lack of Nutrition.

The nursing staff of these facilities must obtain periodic assessments regarding the ability of a hospitalized patient or nursing facility resident to:

  • Chew and swallow foods of various consistencies
  • Feed himself or herself
  • Perform the necessary tasks of eating. 

Interventions in the institutional setting include the following actions:

  • Ensure that patients are equipped with all necessary sensory aids (glasses, dentures, hearing aids).
  • Ensure that the patient is seated upright at 90°, preferably out of bed and in a chair.
  • Ensure that patients residing in a long-term care facility eat in the dining room.
  • Ensure that food and utensils are removed from wrapped or closed containers and are positioned within the patient’s reach, especially for  those residents that are totally dependent
  • Remove or minimize unpleasant sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Allow for a slower pace of eating; do not remove the patient’s tray too soon.  Additionally, watch what the patient is eating.
  • Consider ethnic food preferences and permit families to bring specific foods.
  • If the patient must be fed, allow adequate time for chewing, swallowing, and clearing throat before offering another bite. This is mandatory for both Malnutrition issues and to prevent Choking.
  • Demented patients must be watched very closely and helped with their nutritional status on-going
  • Encourage family participation in the eating process.

How The Peck Law Group Elder Malnutrition Attorneys Shall Help You:

Have a loved one in the Los Angeles area that are showing signs of malnutrition at a long-term care facility?

First, you should immediately report your concerns to the caretaking facility Doctor, Administrator, or Nurses. Be sure to document any conversations that you have with the staff of that facility, including a Director of Nursing or an Administrator of the facility.

If you have any questions or concerns, please be sure to contact the Peck Law Group at (866) 999-9085 to receive a free case evaluation from one of our elder malnutrition attorneys. We can bring clarity to your questions and concerns, plus provide you with more information regarding your legal options.


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