North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse: Malnutrition

When you place your loved one in a nursing home or adult care facility, you assume that, at the very least, they will be given the basic necessities: food, water, and medical care. But unfortunately, North Carolina nursing homes have a sad history of adult care neglect and adult care abuse. One of the most common forms of NC nursing home neglect and abuse is malnutrition. Nursing home malnutrition can cause weakness, a low quality of life, infection, falls, vitamin deficiencies, and a lowered immune system.

What are some of the causes of nursing home malnutrition?

· Inattention and neglect of staff members who do not take the time to feed nursing home patients that may need assistance.

· Poor nursing home food or not enough nursing home food, provided by nursing home staffers who are uneducated about nutritional needs.

· Liquid diets administered by nursing home staffers who do not want to take the time to feed difficult residents.

· Poorly fitting dentures, tooth issues, or other mouth problems that a nursing home staff may ignore.

· Drug side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, or diarrhea that, if not reported by the nursing home staff, could lead to malnutrition.

What are some signs that your nursing home loved one may be suffering from malnutrition?

· Their clothes are fitting more loosely and they appear to be losing weight.

· Their face and lips lack color.

· Their hair is thinning and their skin is cracked.

· Their wounds take longer to heal.

· They are rushed through meals by the nursing home staff.

· Snacks are not readily available for them to eat between meals.

· They eat much more when you are there to help feed them.

· They appear more confused (and have not been diagnosed with a memory problem)

· They have been put on a liquid diet without the recommendation of their doctor.