In today’s American society, it is hard to imagine how seniors can become malnourished. Nursing homes provide seniors with three meals per day, and there’s always Meals on Wheels. Surely family members help out seniors with preparing meals – right? All too often, seniors have barriers that prevent them from getting the nourishment that they need, and there is no one there to help them.
One such barrier is dementia or other cognitive disorders, which can make the activities of daily living (ADLs), including preparing meals, extremely difficult. Some seniors can no longer drive, which makes it difficult to get groceries from the store. Dental problems can make nutritional foods hard to ingest. Plus, some seniors may have difficulty stretching their budget to always have enough food.
Another reason for senior malnutrition is social isolation. Seniors who have no regular visitors or family nearby may go days without human contact. This can lead to severe depression and exacerbate medical conditions, both of which can lead to malnutrition.
The number of malnourished seniors in America was at an astonishing 3.7 million in 2012, according to a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians. A nutritionist for the federal Administration on Aging, believes the numbers are higher, or as many as half of American senior citizens. Likewise, according to the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, one out of every three seniors admitted to the hospital are malnourished. Due to malnourishment, these seniors are more likely to have longer hospital stays, to be readmitted, and to have higher rates of mortality. The resulting health care costs are more than $157 million annually.
There are many different types of abuse or neglect that can occur to residents in nursing home or residential care facilities, including malnutrition. The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities, regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how powerless you are likely to feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.