Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents Often Face Dangers While Eating – Why?
Nursing home and assisted living residents often face dangers while eating because a large percentage of them suffer from an eating disorder known as dysphagia, and the corporations that run these facilities are unwilling to employ sufficient staff to meet their needs during mealtimes. Dysphagia is a medical condition that is characterized by difficulty swallowing while eating food. It is estimated that between 40% to 60% of all seniors who reside in an institutional long-term care setting suffer from swallowing complications related to dysphagia.
Insufficient Numbers of Staff to Assist and Little to No Training Increase Risks
Nursing homes and ALFs lacking enough properly trained and sufficient numbers of staff to provide feeding assistance endanger residents by increasing the risk of malnutrition, dehydration and episodes of choking. As a nursing home abuse lawyer handling cases primarily in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee Counties in Florida, one of the most common threats to nursing home and assisted living facility residents I have seen is with poor attention paid to food service and a lack of sufficient staff to provide feeding assistance to residents who require this help to eat safely. The argument can be made that local nursing homes and assisted living facilities are failing residents who require feeding assistance. It may surprise many people that the dietary departments of many nursing homes and assisted living facilities pose a real risk of harm to their residents. With nursing homes and assisted living facilities that fail to hire, train and employ sufficient numbers of qualified staff, there may be no greater time of risk to residents than when it comes to meal time. Of course, people who reside in these care settings, whether for long term care or for short term rehabilitation, should receive at least three nutritious meals per day plus periodic snacks and beverages. When a resident requires feeding assistance in an assisted living facility, the question should be asked as to who is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the resident continues to remain appropriate for an assisted living environment. Unfortunately, staff and administration of these facilities often lack the training and knowledge to properly identify those residents who are at the highest risk.
Choking and Aspiration are Substantial Risks to Residents of Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Many nursing home and assisted living residents require assistance with such things as reaching the tray on which the meal is served, tray set up, and feeding — i.e., actually getting food off of the plate and into the resident’s mouth. Too often, staff members carelessly place the meal tray just out of reach of a resident where the food remains and grows cold and unpalatable. Malnutrition claims many lives of the elderly in Florida each year. Other times, dietary aids in long term care facilities will deliver the wrong food to a resident: For example; a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a resident who possesses swallowing difficulties and has a physician order in place for a mechanically altered or pureed diet. This frequently has grave consequences; choking, aspiration pneumonia and death. Additionally, staff are frequently required to sit with residents who suffer from dysphagia to provide proper cueing while eating and to ensure that the resident has safely swallowed their food before proceeding with the next bite. In the absence of sufficient staff who are trained in the proper methods of providing feeding assistance, the risk of harm increases substantially.
Do You have Questions Regarding the Suspected Neglect or Abuse of a Resident? Call Jim for a Free and Confidential Consultation at (844) 485-7600
Nursing home and assisted living facility residents have rights under Florida law. James Edwin Keim has helped victims and their families hold nursing home and assisted living facility corporations accountable for negligence, misconduct and resident rights violations for over twenty years. All nursing home and assisted living facility neglect and abuse cases are handled on a contingency fee and cost basis. This means that fees and costs are simply deducted from the recovery, if and when a recovery is made. Call for a free and confidential consultation: (844) 485-7600. Proudly serving Bradenton, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, North Port, Englewood, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and surrounding Florida communities for over twenty years. Tag as: nursing home choking lawyer, assisted living choking lawyer, nursing home wrongful death lawyer, assisted living wrongful death lawyer, nursing home neglect lawyers near me, nursing home lawyers near me, assisted living lawyers near me, dysphagia in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, nursing home neglect and choking, nursing home abuse lawyers near me