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The risk of inadequate meal supervision in nursing homes

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse, Personal Injury

As your loved ones age, even eating can become a challenging and potentially fatal task. Dysphagia or swallowing problems are common in older adults, making mealtime supervision essential. Sadly, negligence in nursing homes can contribute to choking incidents, endangering the lives of residents, including the family members you entrusted into their care.

The consequences of nursing home neglect

Many nursing home patients suffer from dysphagia, sometimes unknowingly. Doctors often recommend that dysphagia patients eat small, frequent meals consisting of soft foods. Without adequate assistance, residents with this condition may suffer health complications, including malnutrition, dehydration and even death.

Mental disabilities prevalent among aging individuals, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, can also impair the ability of residents to consume their food properly.

When nursing home staff is absent or inattentive, the risk of choking escalates. Such incidents can lead to aspiration pneumonia, brain damage, or worse, fatality.

Why would nursing home staff neglect residents?

Nursing homes promise to deliver quality care to their residents. Yet, issues such as staffing shortages, mismanagement and lack of training often hinder their ability to preserve the well-being of residents. There are many cases where there aren’t enough staff to watch over a fully packed facility or when personnel fail to see or help residents who are in distress.

It is the job of nursing homes to make sure that their residents can eat safely by meeting their individual needs. They must take the necessary actions, whether by pureeing food, spoon-feeding or other interventions. Their negligence can be detrimental.

Entrusting family members to a nursing home should come with peace of mind, not anxiety over their well-being or safety. But nursing home neglect is a harsh reality many families have had to learn the hard way.

If you suspect a nursing home is not doing its job, consider talking to a lawyer. You may be able to seek compensation for your loved ones while preventing such tragedies from happening in the future.