Can sudden weight loss be a sign of nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

Families who have elderly loved ones in Georgia nursing homes expect the nursing home to be professional and courteous. Sadly, there are times when nursing home abuse or neglect might occur. If your loved one has lost a lot of weight, it might be a sign that it’s happening to them.

What are the signs of weight loss in nursing home residents?

Elderly nursing home residents are sometimes susceptible to weight loss. Many older adults are vulnerable to malnutrition for a number of reasons. They might be suffering from a certain illness such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease or even cancer. Elderly individuals are more likely to wear dentures, but sometimes, those devices are ill-fitting, making it difficult to properly eat.

If a nursing home resident suffers sudden weight loss of 10 pounds or 5% of their body weight, it should be taken as a warning sign that something is wrong. In addition to the weight loss itself, other signs of this problem are hair loss, change in moods and difficulty regulating body temperature.

If the elderly individual does not have an underlying medical condition or serious illness that has yet to be diagnosed, their weight loss might be due to nursing home abuse and neglect.

When is weight loss a sign of nursing home neglect?

Nursing home staff is responsible for ensuring that residents get the proper nutrition and drinks to keep hydrated. If they fail to give adequate food and water to residents, it could lead to malnutrition and dehydration, which can cause their health to deteriorate. Nursing home residents who are victims of neglect can suffer significant weight loss and additional negative effects. Dry, cracked lips, swollen tongue, weakness and even a reduction in urine and bowel movements are common.

No nursing home resident should suffer this kind of abuse or neglect. Weight loss isn’t always a sign of abuse or neglect within a nursing home, but it can be indicative of problems that aren’t getting resolved.