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Unexplained Nursing Home Resident Weight Loss

Unexpected weight loss or staff recommending a feeding tube could indicate a staffing problem and the presence of nursing home abuse


Nursing home abuse often manifests itself through improper and inadequate nursing home staffing. Residents who need help with eating or to complete their meals must be given that assistance. If a feeding tube is recommended for your loved one, it may be because the nursing home does not have enough staff to help the residents eat.

If a feeding tube is recommended for your loved one, make sure it is absolutely necessary. Ask questions. Does your loved one eat when you visit and assist him or her with their meals? Do they eat better if you bring them food from home? What caused the change that requires a feeding tube? Is the nursing home staff assisting with meals? In the case below, for Melody and Emily’s Dad, the nursing home staff was unable to provide the required care. Instead of hiring more staff, nursing homes sometimes recommend feeding tubes as a ”replacement” to having people who help residents eat.

If your loved one has suffered mistreatment or neglect like Melody and Emily’s dad while under the care of a nursing home, you and your loved one may have legal recourse, and you may need the help of experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.

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DATELINE LONG BEACH, NY  — “A feeding tube? You’ve got to be kidding! Dad loves to eat.” Nursing home staff is responsible to monitor residents’ food intake and to make sure any weight loss is addressed in a timely manner. It is a violation of nursing home resident rights if the staffing in the nursing home is untrained or unable to give each resident the care they require.

Melody Ashford was on the phone with her sister, Emily.

“Except for football, I don’t think there’s anything Dad loved more than food,” Emily agreed.

“This is why I think something is seriously wrong over there at the nursing home. The doctor at the nursing home wants to give Dad a feeding tube.”

“How did Dad look when you visited him at the nursing home?” The question was an obvious one.

“Well, it was confusing. The staff told me that he wasn’t eating. And looked much thinner, even gaunt, compared to my last visit. But when I sat with him, he seemed plenty hungry. In fact, when I helped him eat he finished almost everything on his tray.  A feeding tube for Dad was the furthest thing from my mind at that moment. He just needs some assistance eating.”

“Did Dad say anything to you?”

“‘I hate to bother them.’ And ‘One time I spilled some potatoes on the sheets and they got really mad.’  Things like that.”

“We’ve got to do something,” Melody said. “The staff is supposed to help him eat.”



Nursing home abuse takes many forms, with unexpected weight loss or insistence on a feeding tube being just two examples. If you suspect abuse, you and your family have certain rights. Gathering the evidence needed for a lawsuit against nursing home facilities is time-critical. Contact the expert team at Dalli & Marino for your nursing home abuse, neglect, misinformation or other case today.

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