Malnutrition and Dehydration Lawyer in Portland
Nursing homes are trusted with caring for the elderly residents living in their facilities. This includes providing them with an adequate amount of food and liquids on a daily basis. Unfortunately, due to inadequate amount of staff, improper or insufficient training, and nursing home abuse and neglect, many residents suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. This can lead to several adverse medical conditions, including serious illness and death.
If you believe a nursing home resident is not receiving the food and fluids he or she needs, report your suspicions immediately to the nursing home’s administrative staff or law enforcement. Then, contact Rizk Law to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim with a qualified nursing home abuse attorney in Portland. We will review the circumstances behind your loved one’s condition to determine if it may have been caused by a negligent staff member or policies implemented by the nursing home. If we find that you have a case, we will pursue every option available to help your loved one.
When working with Rizk Law, you will only be charged on a contingency fee basis. This means we will represent your loved one at no upfront cost and not charge any legal fees unless we recover compensation. There is no risk in contacting us to find out if you have a case.
To get started today, call 503.245.5677.
Nursing Homes’ Duty of Care to Residents
In Oregon, nursing homes are legally required to implement a Residents’ Bill of Rights that obligates assisted living facilities to provide residents basic rights and access to the treatment and services they need. This includes providing residents the freedom and support to access food and liquids at any time.
Additionally, federal regulations require that each nursing home resident is provided a nourishing and healthy diet that meets his or her daily nutritional and special dietary needs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) State Operations Manual.
Under CMS regulations, nursing homes and assisted living facilities must provide residents the opportunity to choose from a variety of meals that meet their dietary needs and restrictions. Furthermore, each resident must be provided three meals each day at regular meal times or at a time of his or her request or care plan. CMS also requires that there cannot be more than 14 hours between the third meal of one day and the first meal the following day.
CMS also requires nursing homes to have enough staff employed to handle residents’ nutritional requirements. This should include a registered dietician on staff or another type of clinically-qualified nutritionist and enough qualified staff to assist the number of residents living in the facility.
If your loved one is residing in a nursing home facility that does not meet the standards held by CMS or Oregon’s Residents’ Bill of Rights, be sure to notify the facility’s administrative staff as soon as possible. Then, contact Rizk Law to find out if you have a case. We provide free and confidential consultations to potential clients and will help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Symptoms of Malnutrition
Nursing homes are required to carefully monitor residents’ health and to ensure they are consuming an adequate amount of nutrients each day. If a resident needs help eating or drinking, nursing home staff or the resident’s caregiver must assist the resident. If a resident refuses to eat or drink because he or she does not like the food, the nursing home must take steps to offer the resident other options that he or she may prefer.
If a resident is not consuming enough food to meet his or her nutritional needs, the resident may display several symptoms, such as:
- Fatigue or low levels of energy
- Slow-healing wounds
- Muscle weakness
- Emotional instability
- Sudden or rapid weight loss
- Poor concentration
- Difficulty healing wounds
- Feeling cold in warm environments
- Becoming easily ill
- Reduced appetite
- Bruising easily
If residents begin to develop symptoms of malnutrition, the nursing home must take steps to ensure they are receiving the nutrition they need to regain their health. However, if a nursing home fails to take proper steps to address the signs of malnutrition, it can be held liable for nursing home neglect.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities must also ensure residents are provided access to water and other fluids that keep them hydrated. If residents are deprived access to water or other fluids, they may become dehydrated. Some common signs of dehydration include:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Dry, cool skin
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty urinating
- Discolored urine
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid or irregular breathing
- Sunken eyes
- Fatigue or lack of energy
If you notice a nursing home resident suffering from symptoms of dehydration, immediately warn a nursing home staff member. If the issue is not resolved, contact Rizk Law’s malnutrition and dehydration attorneys in Portland to discuss holding the nursing home liable for elder neglect.
Causes of Malnutrition and Dehydration
Nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition or dehydration when they are not getting enough water, calories, proteins, fats, minerals or vitamins.
Residents who suffer from the following conditions may be at risk of becoming malnourished or dehydrated:
- Crohn’s disease
- Liver disease
- Mental health problems
- Limited mobility
- Difficulty swallowing
- Stomach ulcers
Nursing homes must provide close attention to residents who are unable to consume food or drink without assistance. A nursing home could be held liable for negligence when its staff is not:
- Trained to identify or assist residents suffering from malnutrition or dehydration
- Monitoring residents to ensure they are consuming enough nutritious food or liquids
- Providing enough nutritious food or drink to residents
- Monitoring residents' consumption of medication that may cause dehydration or lack of appetite
- Assisting immobile or incapacitated residents in eating or drinking
- Serving residents food that is part of their approved meal or care plan
- Providing a variety of nutritious food
If a nursing home has not addressed signs of malnutrition or dehydration in your loved one, contact Rizk Law as soon as possible. We will investigate your claim to help you determine if you can hold the nursing home liable for abuse or neglect.
Call 503.245.5677 to learn more about your legal options.
Medical Conditions Caused by Malnutrition and Dehydration
Our bodies require a specific amount of nutritious food and liquids to function properly. If a nursing home resident has been deprived of the nutrition he or she needs, it may result in severe medical complications, including:
- Reduction in muscle mass
- Reduction in tissue mass
- Organ damage or failure
- Low body temperature
- Constant fatigue
Another medical condition that many nursing home residents suffer when malnourished is bedsores. These are pressure ulcers that occur on different areas of the resident’s body that are more likely to develop if the resident has lost weight and is dehydrated, which dries out the skin and makes it more likely to break. Although bedsores can heal when treated properly, they can lead to serious health problems if they are left untreated.
If you believe a nursing home resident’s health is suffering because of malnutrition or dehydration, contact Rizk Law to discuss for a free legal consultation. We will help you determine if you have a case against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, and whether the facility owes you or your loved one compensation.
Complete a Free Case Evalaution form.
Schedule a Consultation with a Malnutrition and Dehydration Lawyer in Portland
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide patients the care and treatment they need. This includes access to nutritious food, water and other liquids that will keep residents nourished and hydrated. If your loved one’s nursing home has failed in its obligation to care for its residents, contact Rizk Law as soon as possible.
We will review your claim and the effects of your loved one’s treatment during a free, no obligation consultation. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, and we do not charge upfront legal fees when representing our clients. We will only require payment if you or your loved one is able to recover compensation.
Call 503.245.5677 today to schedule a free legal consultation.