Nutrition is important, no matter your age. However, the older you get, the more likely you are to experience malnutrition. If your family member requires a lot of care, and you’re considering a nursing home for them, reach out to your list of homes first to ensure their malnutrition rates are not high. You don’t want your loved one to experience malnutrition because this issue can cause a lot of problems down the line.
If your loved one experiences malnutrition at the hands of a nursing home, reach out to a nursing home malnutrition lawyer in NJ such as the ones available at Davis & Brusca, LLC to discuss your case and get compensation for your family’s suffering.
Problems That Malnutrition Causes
- Older adults may be prone to malnutrition, and that can lead to various health concerns. Some such concerns are:
- A weak immune system, which can increase their risk of infections. These infections can lead to fatal results, disabilities, and more.
- Their wounds will not heal properly, because their body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to do so.
- Adults who are prone to malnutrition have a higher risk of hospitalization, and a higher risk of death.
These various health concerns can become dangerous and are unpleasant. That’s why it is important to understand what malnutrition can cause in an elderly person.
Factors That Cause Malnutrition
Some factors of malnutrition are extremely straightforward. However, malnutrition is not just caused by too little food or a diet that lacks nutrients. It’s also caused by physical, social, and psychological issues in the person’s life.
Some things that may factor into malnutrition are:
- Age-related changes such as change in smell, taste and appetite. These things typically decline as you age, which can make it difficult to enjoy eating.
- Illnesses such as diseases that cause inflammation can decrease your appetite and change how your body processes nutrients.
- You may develop an impairment to your ability to eat. This can be anything from issues swallowing and chewing, to poor dental hygiene and issues holding forks and spoons.
- Dementia is a major issue, as you forget to eat. You may think you ate, bought groceries or otherwise cared for yourself, but in reality, you’ve been forgetting for a while.
- Medications may affect your appetite or your ability to absorb nutrients.
- Diets, such as restricted ones that may be placed on you, can cause you to feed poorly. These diets are commonly used to manage disorders such as diabetes.
- Limited income is another common issue. Many older people have to rely on their social security money, and may not be able to get the food they need.
- Depression can lead to alcoholism, which can interfere with digestion and absorption of nutrients, but depression can also cause grief, loneliness and otherwise failing health that leads to eating less due to loss of appetite.
When you place your elderly loved one into a nursing home, you should know they’re being taken care of. That means their needs, including nutrition, are being met. If you notice that isn’t the case, reach out to a malnutrition lawyer that has experience to help you file against the home and caretakers.