Sometimes Nursing Home Neglect Begins at the Dining Table

June 23, 2023 Medical Malpractice

Sometimes Nursing Home Neglect Begins at the Dining Table

Elderly people are considered good candidates for nursing home care when they need assistance with more than one of the tasks of daily living, namely eating, walking, bathing, dressing, and toileting. The amount of assistance with eating that the residents of a single nursing home need varies greatly from one resident to another. Some residents can sit at a table in the dining room and eat a square meal while conversing with their fellow residents or guests. Others require a staff member to feed them their meals in their room, and some residents require parenteral nutrition. Despite all those email forwards your aunt keeps sending you about how your favorite snacks, or even your favorite vegetables, are killing you, improper diet is not usually a matter of life or death. Nursing home residents are in such a vulnerable state of health, though, that their health can decline quickly when the nursing home does not meet their nutritional needs. It is not only the type of food served that can harm patients but also the manner in which the patient is fed. If you are concerned that a family member of yours is suffering from malnutrition in a nursing home, contact a Louisiana nursing home abuse lawyer.

Nursing Homes Must Meet Each Resident’s Nutritional Needs

The standard of care in nursing homes requires the staff to help each resident maintain the level of independence that he or she possessed upon entering the nursing home. Residents should receive as much assistance as they need, but not more. This means that residents who can feed themselves should be encouraged to do so. If a patient can chew but cannot handle utensils, a staff member should feed them solid food. Liquid diets and parenteral nutrition are only appropriate for residents who really need them.

This is as time-consuming as it sounds, and understaffed nursing homes often try to save time by feeding liquid diets to residents for whom the standard of care prescribes spoon-feeding. Similarly, they might try to save work for themselves by having residents use wheelchairs full-time even when those residents can walk with assistance.

Choking Accidents at Louisiana Nursing Homes

Families are very cautious about protecting young children from choking hazards, but elderly people, including nursing home residents, are also at high risk of choking. More than half of choking deaths occur in people above the age of 75. Inadequate supervision during mealtimes accounts for many choking accidents in nursing homes. Before you choose a nursing home, you should investigate whether there have been any incidents of residents choking on food at the nursing home in recent memory.

Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick About Nursing Home Abuse Cases

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you if you suspect that an elderly family member of yours is not getting adequate care in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Contact Mansfield Melancon Cranmer & Dick Injury Lawyers in Louisiana, to discuss your case.

Scott Mansfield, Collin Melancon, Brad Cranmer, Kelley Dick