Is weight loss a sign of nursing home abuse?

People who have loved ones in California nursing homes need to be aware of the different signs that abuse or neglect might be occurring. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take multiple forms, making it important for people to understand the different types and their signs. One sign that someone might be a victim is sudden weight loss.

Weight loss as a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse

Vulnerable adults might lose weight for several reasons, including underlying medical conditions and choosing to diet. Because of this, a loved one’s sudden weight loss in a nursing home might not be immediately recognized as a sign that he or she is being neglected or abused. However, sudden weight loss can be a sign of neglect or abuse and should be addressed.

When weight loss is a sign of neglect or abuse

Nursing home staff must ensure that their residents receive proper nutrition and plenty of fluids. When they fail to provide enough food or water to their residents, people might become severely dehydrated and malnourished and suffer significant drops in weight. Other signs that co-occur with weight loss include dry, cracked lips, a swollen tongue, reduction in urine output, and weakness. This can happen when nursing home staff purposely withhold food or water from a nursing home resident or when they negligently fail to help an older adult with feeding.

People who think that their loved ones might be suffering from abuse or neglect should report their concerns to the facility and, if appropriate, to the authorities. A lawyer might help to gather evidence of the abuse or neglect that has caused the nursing home injuries and file a claim against the facility to hold it accountable for its wrongful actions.