Nursing Home Abuse: Improper Nutrition or Hydration

Elder abuse can take many forms. In nursing homes, elder abuse is always a concern. Regulatory agencies have inspection processes and sanctions in place to ensure proper care. However, even in the best and most compliant of facilities, family members, and loved ones should monitor the health and emotional wellbeing of the individual in placement. 

Note any changes in behavior or other worrisome symptoms that may appear while in the care of the nursing home staff. It isn’t always easy to determine whether your loved one is the victim of substandard care or neglect. Knowing what to do about neglect as soon as you suspect something is wrong is a key element in successfully protecting the safety of a nursing home patient. 

One sign of potential neglect or abuse is marked weight gain or loss. Elderly patients should have regulated meal times. Liquid consumption should be monitored and adjusted as necessary by the doctors and nurses on staff. If your loved one is showing changes in weight that you feel are unusual, you should first bring the concern to the attention of the medical staff and nursing home administration. 

If you believe that the weight change is related to neglect or abuse, remove the patient from care if possible and contact officials as well as an attorney that specializes in personal injury law and elder abuse cases. Your attorney will advise you of what rights you have and what the best course of action is for your loved one’s protection. 

Free Case Evaluation

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse: Improper Nutrition 

Dangers of Weight Loss in Elderly Patients 

Significant weight loss in elderly people can be indicative of larger health problems, and can lead to medical complications. A 2002 report in the journal American Family Physician states that elderly patients who experience unintentional weight loss are at a greater risk of infection, depression, disease complications, and death. In fact, one study from 1994 found nursing home patients had a significantly higher rate of mortality six months after losing 10 percent of body weight. 

Causes of Significant Weight Gain and Loss at a Nursing Home 

Ideally, your family member’s medical issues are stringently monitored by the healthcare staff. An unprecedented weight loss or gain may be attributable to a health condition that has gone unnoticed by staff. 

Some common causes of weight loss can include the following. 

  • Adverse reaction to medication 
  • Gastrointestinal tract disorders 
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Emotional problems such as depression or anxiety 
  • Dementia 
  • Improper nutrition 
  • Lack of appetite that has gone unnoticed 

Some common causes of weight gain can include the following. 

  • Adverse reactions to medication 
  • Stress, depression or anxiety 
  • Improper nutrition (calorie overload) 
  • Sleep issues 
  • Hypothyroidism 

Many of the causes listed above are psychological or physical medical issues that should be recognized and addressed by the nursing staff that tend to the patient every day. Nursing staff is responsible for monitoring, recording and alerting the doctors to any change in patient condition. Dietary needs should regularly be evaluated based on any changes in weight, diagnosis or medication changes and eating habits should be monitored, especially when they detect a change in weight. 

What to do When You Suspect Elder Abuse 

If your elderly loved one is experiencing weight loss, bring it to her doctor’s attention. Speak with your loved one about her nursing home experience, and consult with nursing home staff to formulate a plan regarding how to address your loved one’s weight loss. 

If you believe that the weight loss is due to nursing home neglect, act quickly to remove your loved one from the situation or otherwise remedy the situation. You can also report abuse or neglect with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. 

Meanwhile, the Nursing Home Reform Action (NHRA) includes a number of provisions that detail the requirements of a nursing home to provide its residents with adequate nutrition and hydration. If the nursing home is failing to meet this responsibility and it led to harm, you have the right to seek legal action. You may recover compensation for your loved one’s damages, so talk to an attorney about the situation as well. 

Case Results


Nursing home vulnerable adult medication overdose wrongful death in Pierce County.


Neglect, drowning, and cognitive impairment of a vulnerable adult under DSHS care and supervision.


Nursing home vulnerable adult neglect and wrongful death in Pierce County.

Our Approach to Nursing Home Abuse: Improper Nutrition 

At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, we are committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of elderly individuals who have suffered due to improper nutrition and neglect in nursing homes. We understand the unique challenges that families face when their loved ones are placed in nursing home care, and we are dedicated to ensuring that these vulnerable individuals receive the care and attention they deserve. 

Understanding the Complexity of Improper Nutrition Cases 

Cases of improper nutrition in nursing homes can be complex. Detecting neglect or abuse related to nutrition may require a keen eye for subtle changes and a deep understanding of the standards of care in nursing homes. Our experienced legal team is well-versed in handling these intricacies. 

Comprehensive Assessment and Legal Guidance 

When you approach us with concerns about your loved one’s well-being in a nursing home, we start with a comprehensive assessment of your case. Our legal experts will work closely with you to gather all relevant information, including medical records, eyewitness accounts, and any other evidence that can support your claim. 

Advocating for Accountability 

Our approach centers on holding nursing homes accountable for their actions or inactions. We have a thorough understanding of the regulations and standards governing nursing home care, including those related to nutrition and hydration. If we find that a nursing home has failed in its duty to provide proper nutrition to its residents, we will pursue legal action to seek justice on behalf of your loved one. 

Seeking Compensation for Damages 

Improper nutrition can lead to serious health consequences for elderly individuals, including complications, suffering, and, in some cases, even death. We will tirelessly pursue compensation for any damages your loved one has suffered due to neglect or improper nutrition. This may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses. 

Providing Support Every Step of the Way 

We understand that dealing with elder abuse and neglect cases can be emotionally challenging for families. Throughout the legal process, our compassionate team will provide you with the support and guidance you need. We are dedicated to ensuring that your loved one’s rights are protected and that those responsible for their suffering are held accountable.

How Ron Meyers & Associates Can Help with Nursing Home Abuse: Improper Nutrition Cases 

Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC is a law firm specializing in personal injury law and elder abuse cases in the state of Washington. Our team specializes in helping families ensure safe and adequate care for their elderly family members. We can evaluate your case and guide you through the process of seeking justice. Call us today at 360-459-5600 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney. 

Contact Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC Today 

If you suspect that your loved one has experienced improper nutrition or neglect in a nursing home, we are here to help. Contact Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC today for a free consultation. Our experienced elder abuse and personal injury attorneys are ready to listen to your concerns, evaluate your case, and guide you through the legal process. We are committed to seeking justice for your loved one and holding negligent nursing homes accountable. 

Your family’s well-being is our priority, and we are prepared to fight for the rights and dignity of your elderly loved one. Call us at 360-459-5600 to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward justice. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse: Improper Nutrition Cases 

Improper nutrition in a nursing home context refers to situations where residents do not receive adequate and appropriate nutrition and hydration as required for their health and well-being. This can encompass issues such as malnutrition, dehydration, failure to accommodate special dietary needs, or neglecting to provide meals as prescribed by a healthcare professional. 

Signs of improper nutrition or neglect may include significant weight loss or gain, dehydration, malnutrition, frequent illnesses, bedsores, changes in mental or physical health, or any unexplained deterioration in the resident’s condition. These signs should prompt further investigation. 

If you suspect improper nutrition or neglect, start by discussing your concerns with the nursing home staff and administration. Document your observations and communications. If the issues persist or worsen, consult with a healthcare professional to assess your loved one’s condition. You can also report your concerns to state authorities and consider seeking legal counsel. 

Various parties may be held liable, including the nursing home facility itself, individual staff members responsible for the resident’s care, healthcare professionals, and administrators who fail to address the issue. Liability depends on the specific circumstances of the case. 

Compensation in such cases may include medical expenses related to the improper nutrition, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and, in severe cases, punitive damages. The exact compensation sought depends on the nature and extent of the harm caused. 

An experienced attorney can assist by investigating the case, gathering evidence, evaluating the nursing home’s compliance with regulations, and pursuing legal action against negligent parties. They can help you seek compensation and ensure your loved one’s rights are protected throughout the process. 

The statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in Washington can vary based on the specific circumstances. Generally, it is crucial to consult with an attorney promptly because time limitations can affect your ability to file a lawsuit. 

If you suspect nursing home abuse, prioritize your loved one’s safety. Document your concerns, consult with a healthcare professional, report the abuse to the appropriate authorities, and consider seeking legal advice to explore your options for pursuing justice on behalf of your loved one. 

Related Posts

Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC
Average rating:  
 0 reviews
10.0 Avvo Superb Rated
Million Dollar Advocates Forums member
NITA Master Advocate
Olympia Personal Injury Lawyers and Law Firm