Chicago Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration Attorneys

Two of the most common forms of nursing home abuse and neglect are malnutrition and dehydration. It is estimated that at least one-third of residents living in nursing homes suffer from either malnutrition, dehydration, or both. If you have an elderly loved one residing in a nursing home who is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today by calling 312-346-8620.

Our committed legal team is ready to help you protect your loved one and their rights. Contact the experienced and aggressive Chicago nursing home malnutrition attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today by calling 312-346-8620, filling out a contact form, or starting an online chat now.

Why do I need an attorney?

Investigating, identifying, and handling nursing home negligence can feel overwhelming for an individual unfamiliar with the law. Knowing how to proceed with a legal cause of action against a nursing home can be confusing and frustrating. You might also be worried that the administration and staff will retaliate against your loved one if you say something against them.

Experienced malnutrition and dehydration attorneys understand the intricacies of the law. They will be able to identify who is liable for your family member’s suffering, end the cycle of abuse, and will work hard to earn you money you are unlikely to be able to get on your own.

The malnutrition and dehydration attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have earned millions of dollars for nursing home abuse clients, including cases of dehydration and malnutrition. We have been practicing since 1970, helping victims in Chicago recover the compensation they deserve.

Malnutrition In Nursing Homes

Malnutrition is defined as a lack of proper nourishment that results from not having enough to eat, not having the proper food to eat, or not being able to eat the food that one does have. In nursing homes, malnutrition is one of the leading forms of resident neglect. While a study by the National Institutes of Health found that malnutrition affects approximately 20% of nursing home residents, other studies indicate that number to be much higher, with as many as 85% of nursing home residents being malnourished. Additionally, it is estimated that 30% to 50% of nursing home residents are underweight, a consequence of malnutrition.

Malnutrition among nursing home residents is especially problematic because many of the people living in nursing homes already suffer from some medical condition, and malnutrition only worsens their existing health issues, because it weakens the immune system. Furthermore, malnutrition may cause the elderly to develop new medical and health ailments.

Malnutrition is not always easily detectable, but there are some signs you can look for to determine whether your elderly loved one is being abused and suffering from malnutrition.

Some symptoms of malnutrition include the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Slow reaction time
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry skin
  • Yellowing skin or any change in skin color, even under fingernails
  • Swollen and/or bleeding gums
  • Bloated abdominal region
  • Mental decline
  • Red, glassy, or swollen eyes
  • Worsening vision
  • Memory loss
  • Fragile bones
  • Muscle loss
  • Feeling cold
  • Weakness

Malnutrition is a serious condition that can have dire consequences if left untreated. You can confirm that your loved one is malnourished by consulting a doctor and having them get a blood test to see if they are suffering from any nutrient deficiencies. If you notice any of the warning signs of malnutrition in your loved one, do not stand idly by. Contact the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC to get the help you need to end your loved one’s abuse.

Dehydration In Nursing Homes

Many nursing home residents also suffer from dehydration. Dehydration is the result of losing bodily fluids and not replacing them adequately. Dehydration in the elderly is especially dangerous because it can lead to other health issues or make existing health issues even worse. Some of more serious the health consequences of dehydration can include the following:

  • Seizures
  • Brain swelling
  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure

Knowing if your loved one is suffering from dehydration might be challenging, but there are some common symptoms you can look for, including the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Red skin tone in the face
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Being lightheaded
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Infrequent urination
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks
  • Inability to sweat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Delirium

If you suspect your loved one is dehydrated, you need to act quickly to put an an end to their abuse and ensure they do not suffer from more serious health consequences. The aggressive and determined attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC are here to help. Call us today at 312-346-8620.

Causes of Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration

The law specifies that nursing homes have a solemn obligation to look after the physical and mental health of their residents. That means they need to make sure that your loved one’s nutritional needs are being met. They might be held legally accountable even if the malnutrition or dehydration seemed to be an accident. Some causes of malnutrition and dehydration for which the nursing home could be responsible include:

  • A resident refusing to eat because of decreased appetite due to illness or medication
  • Understaffing
  • A resident refusing to eat because of tooth, jaw, or gum pain
  • Excessive rates of staff turnover, creating inexperienced staff
  • Clerical errors
  • A resident refusing to eat because of body image issues
  • Unappetizing food or food of poor quality

These are just a few of the possible causes of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes. If nursing home staff failed to care for your loved one for these or other reasons, you can hold them legally and financially responsible.

Determining Liability for Nursing Home Abuse

There are numerous parties that may be held liable for your elderly loved one’s malnutrition and dehydration. Both these forms of abuse are types of physical abuse that may be a result of negligence or an intentional wrongdoing by the nursing home staff or administration.

If a staff member is negligent in their duties to properly care for your loved one, the administration, the company that owns the nursing home, and the staff member themselves may all be responsible for your loved one’s suffering.

Call us if the nursing home administration and ownership company failed to hire staff members who can properly perform the functions of their job or failed to train staff properly. They may be liable for negligence. Furthermore, if the administration and nursing home owner failed to hire enough staff to ensure that each resident is properly cared for, they may be liable for negligence.

Nursing home abuse can also be the result of intentional wrongdoing. If a staff member acted with the intent to deprive a resident of food and liquids, they may be liable in a civil action may even be held criminally liable in some cases.

Contact Us

If you suspect that a nursing home resident close to you is a victim of malnutrition or dehydration, you need immediate legal counsel. The passionate nursing home abuse attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC believe that your loved one is entitled to the very best care, and we are ready to help you take the next step in protecting their health and their rights. Call us at 312-346-8620 to speak to a skilled legal professional about the specifics of your loved one’s case. The initial consultation is free, and it could be the most important thing you do to help your elderly loved one escape the cycle of abuse occurring in their nursing home.

Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : December 6, 2023