The importance of nutritional care of nursing home residents cannot be overstated. A nutritional diet is important for the resident’s physical and mental health. The elderly typically have decreased appetites. This can be compounded by physical and mental limitations, which make it difficult, if not impossible, for residents to feed themselves. Significant weight loss can suppress the immune system, decrease strength and reduce a resident’s ability to respond to stress.
Likewise, staying hydrated is very important to the resident’s overall health and well-being. Water is the most abundant and vital source in the human body. Adequate fluid intake is critical for all of the body’s processes. Unfortunately, dehydration is all too common in nursing home residents. Physical and mental limitations can make it very difficult for nursing home residents to maintain adequate hydration independently.Clinical Signs of Malnutrition
Weight loss is a guide in determining nutritional status. There are suggested parameters for evaluating the significance of unplanned weight loss. They are as follows:
|Time Period||Significant Loss||Severe Loss|
|1 month||3 months||6 months|
42 CFR §483.25(i) Nutrition - Based on a resident’s comprehensive assessment, the facility must ensure that a resident (1) maintains acceptable parameters of nutritional status, such as body weight and protein levels, unless the resident’s clinical condition demonstrates that this is not possible; and (2) receives a therapeutic diet when there is a nutritional problem.Clinical Signs of Dehydration
42 CFR §483.25(j) Hydration - The facility must provide each resident with sufficient fluid intake to maintain proper hydration and health.
If you or someone you love has suffered from malnutrition or dehydration while residing in a nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at Suthers Law Firm. For a FREE consultation, please contact us online through our confidential evaluation form or call us toll free at 1-800-320-2384.
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