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What are the signs of malnutrition in elderly patients

It’s a difficult adjustment to trust the care of your loved one to the staff and administrators of an assisted living facility or a nursing home. You need 24-hour care for a loved one living with dementia and other degenerative disorders, care that you can’t give them on your own. We all have busy lives, and for those that have demanding jobs and children, there may not be enough time in the week to check in regularly on your loved one.

Recognizing the symptoms

For patients dealing with the physical and cognitive limitations of dementia and Alzheimer’s related illnesses, simple tasks like bathing, eating, drinking, and getting around can become insurmountable without aid. A common symptom of this spectrum of diseases is difficulty in eating and swallowing. These patients require a nurse or aide to facilitate eating, to assist them in preparing and ingesting food and beverages in a safe manner. For facilities that are understaffed or lack adequately trained and conscientious staff, your loved may be at risk of malnutrition and improper care. It is important, as their representative, to be aware of the signs of malnourishment when they appear:

  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Inability to get warm/ low body heat
  • Low body weight, sudden fat lass, muscle degradation
  • Suppressed immune system and susceptibility to illness
  • Concentration issues
  • Wounds that have trouble healing

Protecting your relative’s health

If you recognize these signs of malnutrition in your loved one, you need to hold the staff and facility neglecting their care responsible. You should contact an attorney experienced in elder abuse and neglect to make sure your loved one’s rights are protected.


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