Your mom has been on the decline for a while now. Because you’re unable to handle it all yourself, you have entrusted her care to a long-term facility where they have professionals to care for her.
Are they doing their job? Your mother has been looking increasingly thin and frail. When you express your concerns, your fears are brushed off. You’re even told that these are just the normal signs of aging.
Malnutrition is a serious problem for seniors
Age does tend to take its toll on the appetite – but only because seniors are disproportionately likely to suffer from diseases like dementia, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes and problems swallowing that affect their ability to take in enough nutrients.
In other words, your senior loved one may be eating, but not eating enough or enough of the right things. Common symptoms of malnutrition include:
- Increased weakness and fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Marked weight loss
- Swelling and fluid accumulation
- A weakened immune system
- Wounds that won’t heal
In some cases, the quality of the food the senior is offered may be part of the problem. In others, a senior may need assistance to eat enough – especially if they have advanced dementia or problems with their fine motor skills. If a facility is understaffed at meal times, that puts your loved one in danger.
If your loved one has suffered from long-term care facility neglect, getting them the care they need is critically important – but so is holding the facility responsible. The only way to stop a facility from doing the same thing all over again to someone else is to make the consequences of their actions (or inaction) too high.