Articles Posted in Failure to Address Dietary Needs

nursing home nutrition

Why Nursing Homes Fail to Meet the Nutritional Needs of Residents

Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, arthritis, known nutritional or eating deficiencies, disabilities, and mobility issues may result in nursing home residents to put on a specialized dietary plan to fit their exact needs. In these cases, a primary care physician and nutritionist should be consulted and a plan for health and nutritional goals should be created based on an evaluation of the resident’s related illnesses, medications, mouth or swallowing problems, and feeding issues such as tremors.

But even in the trickiest of situations, well-balanced, palatable meals, and fluids must be prepared, coordinated, and tracked by staff responsible for caring for the resident to ensure nutritional health is being met. When it is not, nursing home abuse and neglect may be considered as the cause for cases involving malnutrition or dehydration.

A joint study by researchers from The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, John H. Stroger Hospital, The Social Policy Research Institute and Illinois Citizens for Better Care has found that the type of facility matters when it comes to the quality of care your elderly loved one is receiving.

Chicago Hospital Records Show Elder Neglect Happening in Nursing Homes

The study ‘Association between Type of Residence and Clinical Signs of Neglect in Older Adults,’ examined 5 metropolitan Chicago-area hospital records of 1,149 elderly patients admitted from long term care settings (nursing homes) and community settings (home, assisted living, or senior living facilities). The data revealed that for-profit nursing homes had more instances of clinical neglect than any other setting. The facilities responsible for the transfer of these residents to nursing homes were all metropolitan Chicago nursing homes.

The family of a woman who died after suffering from malnourishment, dehydration and a urinary tract infection (UTI) is suing Alton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Alton, Illinois. The lawsuit alleges that before her death in June 2015, Judith Bates was visibly sick and was not sent to a hospital for treatment, despite lowered oxygen saturation, an abnormal heart rate, breathing difficulties, lethargy, low blood pressure, and excessive sweating. She had also lost 42 pounds in less than 6 weeks. By the time she was tested for a UTI on June 24, 2015, Ms. Bates’ condition had deteriorated and she died the next day.

For-Profit Nursing Home Rated Much Below Average

Alton Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is a privately-owned, for-profit nursing home located in the southern Illinois town of Alton. The nursing home is owned by Integrity Healthcare of Alton and according to Nursing Home Compare, the rating system developed and maintained by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the home is rated 1 out of 5 stars. A one star rating is considered much below average. The facility received one star for its health inspection, one star for its staffing practices, and two stars (below average) for quality measures.

Family members of an 84-year-old victim of nursing home negligence filed a wrongful death lawsuit recently on her behalf. The lawsuit alleges that she died as a result of the nursing home’s failure to prevent pressure sores, failure to properly feed and hydrate her, and failure to treat her stomach pain. The lawsuit also alleges that the nursing home did not properly maintain medical records. The victim’s family filed the lawsuit to raise awareness surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect. To read more about this nursing home lawsuit, please follow the link provided.

An elderly nursing home resident died last year after choking on his lunch at a nursing home. He suffocated to death when the nursing home neglected to accommodate his dietary needs by changing his meal plan. Prior to the accident, a nursing home dietitian alerted other staff to his risk of choking because he was having a hard time chewing and swallowing thin liquid. Rather than taking steps to immediately address this risk, the nursing home was negligent and did not change his meal plan or supervise him while eating.

On the day of his death, the nursing home resident was given a meal of beef, vegetables and potatoes. He choked on this food and it became stuck in his trachea. Staff attempted the Heimlich maneuver on him but could not resuscitate him. As a result of the nursing home’s failure to address his dietary needs, he died. The nursing home was fined $90,000 by the state.

Read full coverage of this nursing home negligence by following the link.

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