Malnutrition is common among the elderly adult population and can be caused by normal aging, such as a decrease in mobility, appetite, and nutrient absorption. However, malnutrition can also be caused by neglect and abuse in nursing homes.

Reports have found that as many as 50% of nursing home residents have low body weight, and around 20% have some degree of malnutrition.

If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing malnutrition as a result of a care facility’s negligence, contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. Our attorneys have over a century of combined experience helping nursing home residents who have suffered at the hands of their nursing home caregivers.

The Signs and Symptoms of Malnutrition

Nursing home residents are a vulnerable population who rely on assistance from others to meet their daily needs, including nutrition and dietary needs. When these aging adults do not have the proper food or the accommodations they need to access food, malnutrition is a likely outcome.

Malnutrition poses a significant risk for nursing home residents because losing too much weight or maintaining a low weight for an extended period of time can lead to a host of health complications. Missing a single mineral or vitamin can lead to malnutrition, as can an imbalance of nutrients or an overall lack of sustenance. Symptoms of malnutrition vary based on the type and the individual’s health, but they can include:

  • Weight loss or low body weight
  • Low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Impaired immune system
  • Decreased body temperature
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Irritability

Complications Caused by Malnutrition in Nursing Homes

Malnutrition is a serious medical condition, but it can also lead to other issues and disorders, such as:

  • Increased infections
  • Anemia
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Depression
  • Bedsores

Nursing home medical providers have a duty to care for their patients. Connecticut’s Patient Bill of Rights provides protections like the right to:

  • Receive proper medical care
  • A safe environment
  • Be free from abuse

Compensation for Patients Experiencing Malnutrition in Nursing Homes

Trusting a nursing home to care for your loved one is no easy task, but few people are able to properly care for their aging family members on their own. When the medical facility staff breaches their duty to care for a patient, the injured resident has a right to seek financial recovery for their injuries.

In Connecticut, injured patients may be eligible to receive compensatory damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Therapy bills
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Punitive damages are awarded in a select few cases when the at-fault party acted with reckless indifference to the patient’s rights or committed an intentional violation of rights. Punitive damages are to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

If you suspect your aging loved one’s rights have been violated by their nursing home caregivers, contact D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. Our compassion and commitment are second only to our experience and knowledge, all of which we use to fight for neglected and abused nursing home residents in Connecticut. Contact us for a free consultation to find out if a nursing home malnutrition case is an option for your family member.