Malnutrition is Prevalent among Nursing Home Residents

There is one skilled nursing facility located in the City of Ridgecrest, California. The Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Ben Yeroushalmi, wants the people of Ridgecrest to be aware that older adults residing in skilled nursing facilities are especially vulnerable to negative health outcomes such as malnutrition and dehydration, compared to those residing in their communities. A variety of factors can contribute to an elderly individual’s increase in risk of malnutrition, such as loss of appetite, decreased sensory functions, problems with chewing and swallowing, cognitive impairment and psychological issues such as depressive mood, decreased mobility, acute and chronic illnesses, and the use of multiple medications. The attorneys and elder law experts at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi know that because Ridgecrest older adult patients in nursing homes often experience decreased physical and mental functioning, these individuals must receive high quality of care from educated and trained nursing staff in order to maintain quality of life and wellbeing.

A recent study published in the Gastroenterology Research and Practice journal found that in regards to the nutritional status of older adult residents in nursing homes, nearly 50% of the residents studied had a decreased body-mass index and 41% had experienced weight loss. The Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) reported that 38% of patients were malnourished and 62% were at risk of malnutrition.

Malnutrition is generally caused by a long-term period of inadequate intake of calories and nutrients. Ridgecrest nursing staff need to prevent their patients from becoming malnourished because it can increase the risk of contracting illness, such as infections, and can cause existing acute and chronic diseases to worsen.

Researchers in a study aimed to determine the prevalence of malnutrition in orally and tube-fed older adult residents in nursing homes and the association between health issues, malnutrition, and dietary intake. The study found that malnutrition is widespread among this patient population. Specifically, tube-fed residents are more vulnerable to malnutrition than those who receive nutrition orally. Elder abuse attorney Ben Yeroushalmi wants the people of Ridgecrest to know that high staffing levels and adequately trained and educated nursing staff are crucial factors for the successful provision of high quality care to this patient population. Because tube-fed patients are more commonly immobile, cannot perform activities of daily living without assistance, have severe dementia, and are in poorer health than patients with oral nutrition, tube-fed residents must be monitored more intensely by nursing staff.

The attorneys and elder law experts at the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi want you to know the importance of following up with nursing home staff in order to make sure that your loved one is consistently being provided the nutrition they need. Specifically, increased monitoring is needed if your loved one is tube-fed in order to ensure the prevention of avoidable health problems. If you or someone you love has suffered from malnutrition or other injuries due to the inadequate care of a Ridgecrest nursing home, contact us today for a free consultation.

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