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Is Weight Loss Always a Sign of Nursing Home Neglect?

Having your mother, father, or someone you love in a nursing home can be challenging, especially when they are experiencing medical issues. While placing loved ones in the care of a trusted nursing home facility should ease the minds of family members, there are unfortunate times when these facilities do not take adequate care at all. The best thing for families to do is to stay active in the care of their loved ones, ensuring their needs are being consistently met.

One of the ways in which families can assess the health of their loved one who is in the care of a nursing home is to actively observe their weight. Although elderly people become frailer as they grow older, sudden weight loss can be a sign of an underlying condition. If it is not addressed quickly or if the weight loss is not being controlled adequately, it could be a sign that the nursing home facility is neglecting the care of your loved ones.

The Risks of Sudden Weight Loss in Elderly Adults

The reasons for weight loss among the elderly vary depending on factors such as disease and overall health. However, most older adults are able to maintain a healthy weight within their age, and any sudden weight loss is a cause for concern.

According to experts, weight loss of more than 4% – 5% body weight within a year or as little as 3% in frailer elderly is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. While weight loss throughout adult life tends to be a good thing, drastic weight loss for older people can cause weakness and a loss of balance and may also signal underlying medical conditions or depression.

Consequently, sudden weight loss in the elderly is a sure sign that something is wrong with your loved one, and a careful assessment will need to be conducted, as well as follow-up and consistent care from caregivers of the nursing home. If your loved one is already on a weight plan and is still losing weight, it may be a sign of negligent care in the nursing home. Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys if you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving in a nursing home.

Common Causes of Sudden Weight Loss in Elderly People

Weight loss in older people depends on various issues such as emotional, economic, and medical factors. When loved ones are in the care of a nursing home facility, these factors play less of a role, as their care is provided for under one roof, and an elderly resident should be able to maintain a healthy weight for balanced health. The following are some reasons why your loved one may be losing weight too quickly:

  • Dental health
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Declining function of smell and taste
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Side effects of medications

When your loved one is not receiving adequate nutrition due to their health circumstances or other factors such as medication effects, the nursing home caregivers and staff must be made aware of the risk factors to prevent elderly residents from malnutrition. There are vitamins and supplements that can benefit them if they are not eating properly.

Suppose your loved one is in the care of a nursing home, and you suspect that their sudden weight loss is associated with the neglect of facility caregivers. In that case, you have a right to report your suspicions to the proper authorities and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. Neglecting an elderly resident’s sudden weight loss may put them at risk for malnutrition or even falling, and interventions must be swift to ensure their health and safety.

Call an Expert Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York City

When you place someone you love in the hands of a nursing home, you are putting your complete trust in the establishment to take the best care of them. When this trust is broken, and your loved one suffers from neglect, it can cause severe physical and mental injury. At Dalli & Marino, we understand how nursing home neglect can cause devastating effects, and we want to help you obtain justice.

We are a group of experienced lawyers who understand government health care and New York’s nursing home regulations. Our lawyers can help you determine whether your loved one has been mistreated, and we want to help you or your loved one recover the compensation that is deserved due to neglect. Contact our office at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form


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