Malnutrition is sometimes a problem among the elderly, but at what point is it a result of negligence or abuse? This is something you should understand well before placing a loved one into care. There are certain diseases and illnesses that make it hard to eat or drink, but with appropriate care, many people maintain a healthy body weight thanks to medical interventions.
Malnutrition is defined as being when a person lacks vitamins or nutrients due to a poor diet. A lack of food also results in malnutrition. Interestingly, malnutrition can also be a problem for those who are heavier; in their cases, the food does not contain enough nutrients.
Plainly speaking, malnutrition is a dietary deficiency. Scurvy, for instance, results from a lack of vitamin C. A patient could be perfectly healthy otherwise, have a good weight and eat regularly. People who are on a limited diet are at risk for this condition. This includes children, infants and even the elderly. Fortunately, a supplement is all that's needed to avoid this complicated condition.
Another condition, kwashiorkor, occurs because of a lack of protein. This is most obvious because of a distended abdomen. Put simply, not getting enough nutrients does have the potential to significantly impact a patient's health and lead to complications, including new diagnoses.
Understanding that malnutrition isn't only something thin people suffer from is key to protecting your loved one. If you notice it, then you may have a case of malpractice on your hands. It's wise to look closely at the situation and seek professional advice.