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Malnourishment and Nursing Homes


Malnourishment can lead to serious health issues, including a decline in cognitive abilities, a weakening of the immune system, and an increased danger of falling. These issues can already be a problem for older adults who live in nursing homes. When there is malnourishment, health problems can become worse. There are times when health complications become life threatening.

If you are worried about a situation in a nursing home, for example if you have seen evidence of malnourishment, connect with a Baltimore nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer to understand your options.

Indicators of Malnourishment

When an individual is malnourished, they are not receiving enough nutrients, calories, and protein. Then, there can be signs that appear, both to the person themselves and others. Indicators could include one or more of the following:

  • Loss of weight, muscle mass, and body tissue
  • Appearance of hollow cheeks or sunken eyes
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Unable to focus or concentrate
  • Wounds take a long time to heal
  • Feeling too cold
  • Irritability and fatigue

It is possible for a person to be malnourished and be overweight. This is possible if the foods being consumed are low in nutrients but are high in calories and fat.

A malnourished individual does not have the same ability to fight illness and infection as a person who is fed consistent meals full of essential nutrients. This is because malnourishment could result in a decrease of an individual’s white blood cell count. As a result, it is harder for the immune system to fight off illnesses and infections. When individuals live in nursing homes, this is a serious danger. After all, many in these facilities and assisted living centers are already coping with weakened immune systems.

Nursing Home Staffing Issues Could Lead to Malnourished Residents

It is the responsibility of the staff at nursing homes and other care facilities to take care of the individuals who live there. Part of this is providing meals that are nutritious. For some, this requires accommodating specific dietary guidelines. Others may need assistance feeding themselves because they are unable to do so on their own.

When there are staffing issues, it is possible that a nursing home will not provide an adequate level of care. Then, it is possible for the residents to suffer. Malnutrition and other health concerns could arise when nursing homes are understaffed or the staff is overworked and frustrated.

If you visited a person you care about and noticed evidence of malnourishment, share your concerns with the staff. A full and complete response and health evaluation is appropriate. When you do not receive a response that seems appropriate, talk to a Baltimore nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. There are legal solutions.

Do you need legal advice about a malnourishment issue at a Maryland nursing home? Contact the legal team at Iamele & Iamele, LLP to understand your options. Our attorneys successfully secure compensation for personal injury victims in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.


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