Assistance with Feeding

Our experienced nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect attorneys serve clients across the state of California with injuries related to malnutrition. The feeding of nursing home residents with functional and cognitive disabilities is a challenging and time-consuming task for caregivers. Even after proper training, about 30 to 60 minutes of nursing staff time is required to safely and sufficiently feed a resident. The resident-staff ratio should thus be one certified nursing assistant (CNA) for every two or three residents for proper eating assistance. But in reality, as many as 7 to 15 residents are under one CNA’s care. It is therefore not surprising that many of the nutritional supplements ordered by physicians are not actually served and consumed by residents. This failure to follow physician’s orders may lead to many consequences, including the development of serious pressure sores.

Quality improvement in feeding assistance can promote residents’ weight gain. Use of verbal prompting and social interactions with residents during mealtime and snacks can improve the residents’ caloric intake. Nursing staff who have received feeding skills training programs have shown more positive behaviors toward feeding patients with increased knowledge of feeding problems. To manage and prevent malnutrition of residents, nursing homes should thus properly train their nursing staff and implement staffing models that can increase the time spent on feeding assistance care.

When residents require assistance with feeding, they rely on their caregivers to prevent them from becoming malnourished. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that a facility is not only adequately staffed, but also trained to meet the various nutritional needs of each individual patient. Mealtimes can often be hectic and are usually a good indicator of the quality of a facility’s staff. Nursing homes that provide a high standard of care employ both dieticians to supervise at mealtimes and sufficient staff to assist with feeding.

Although you should be able to trust that the facility will properly care for your loved one, you can never be too careful. It is important that you continue to closely monitor your loved one’s weight and nutrition, especially if he or she requires assistance with feeding. Unfortunately, we often see egregious cases of neglect in which residents are starved to death. Instead of receiving the assistance with feeding that they require, caregivers carelessly leave plates of food in front of residents who cannot eat independently. When mealtime is over, the plates are taken away, even when they are left untouched. In other instances, failure to follow physician’s nutritional orders can lead to serious consequences including death. For example, instead of being fed the pureed foods that were ordered by a physician, caregivers feed the residents solid foods that they cannot chew or swallow.

If you have noticed that your loved one has lost a significant amount of weight since becoming a resident at his or her skilled nursing facility, you may have reason to suspect abuse. Witnessing your loved one undergo neglect is already difficult enough to handle on your own. You shouldn’t have to worry about the stress of taking legal action as well. Let our team of specialists guide you through the litigation process. We will take care of the many nuances and fine details that a nursing home negligence and elder abuse case entails. Equipped with years of experience, the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi is prepared to fight relentlessly for your loved one’s rights and achieve rewards in your favor. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free case evaluation.