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Nursing Home Residents in Jeopardy of Malnutrition & Dehydration

Welcome to The Law Offices of Young & Wallin, the Premiere Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Neglect Law Firm in California.

In 2000, the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform reported that at least one third of nursing home residents in the U.S. could suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Other studies indicate that 35%-85% of residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are in jeopardy of becoming under nourished and dehydrated.

Insufficient nutrition or malnutrition in elderly nursing home residents can result in decreased immunity from infections, loss of mobility and reduced muscle strength, which can ultimately lead to pressure ulcers, falls, and death.

Patients who are dehydrated are at risk of low blood pressure, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Dehydration also impacts the immune system negatively, leading to infections, liver and kidney failure, and can be fatal.

Several factors contribute to under nourishment and dehydration in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Patients who frequently fall ill with gastrointestinal complications, who have difficulty swallowing or other oral problems, who are isolated or depressed, and elderly residents who may intentionally restrict intake of food or fluids, for fear of choking or incontinence are at risk for malnutrition and dehydration.

Other contributing factors to malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes include adverse drug events that may induce stomach upset, confusion and drowsiness, food or drug interactions that hinder the absorption of nutrients by the body, a patient's level of dependency during meals, poor positioning while eating, insufficiently trained staff, low staffing levels, insufficient mealtime assistance for residents who need help, and special or unappealing diets.

A prime contributor to malnutrition and dehydration of nursing home and long-term care residents is low staffing levels. Research suggests that 40 minutes or more are required, during meals, for a resident who requires assistance. Nursing homes often maintain strict schedules for feeding times that, when coupled with low staffing levels, does not allow sufficient time for feeding dependant residents.

The Journal of American Geriatrics published a study conducted by the Geriatric Department at UCLA in 2006 that observed staff in six skilled nursing homes in California. They found that oral liquid nutritional supplements that were required or ordered for residents were not administered as such.

According to another report from the Global Action on Aging website, a staff attorney for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform found that nursing homes that had been cited with food deficiencies were only spending $3-$4 per day, per resident for meals. One McDonalds meal is about equivalent to that!

The elders we love and care for are entitled to protection from nursing home neglect and abuse under California law. If you suspect a California nursing home or long-term care patient is or has suffered from malnutrition or dehydration, it is vital that you seek legal help and advice from an experienced California Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer or California Elder Abuse Attorney .

The California malpractice lawyers and attorneys of Young and Wallin are exceptionally qualified, having vast experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout California. We are committed to protecting elder rights and enforcing California elder laws. Contact us for a FREE NURSING HOME ABUSE CONSULTATION immediately. We offer the highest quality of legal help and personal assistance to nursing home neglect and abuse victims. We also represent elder abuse and nursing home neglect cases out of state on a case-by-case basis.

Young & Wallin handle California elder abuse and nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout the state of California including Southern California elder abuse and nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Bakersfield, Barstow, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, Roseville, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Ventura, California. As elder abuse attorneys and nursing home abuse attorneys, we also handle elder abuse and nursing home abuse cases out of state on a case-by-case basis.

If you or a loved one thinks you may have been a victim of elder abuse, nursing home abuse or neglect, contact us immediately.

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©2006 The Law Offices of Young & Wallin

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