A family was faced with a difficult decision that so many Kentucky families must eventually face. The family’s matriarch, who was in her early 80s, was suffering from dementia and her children were not able to care for her at home any longer. Accordingly, they made an informed decision to put her in a local nursing home that held itself out as having a specialized dementia unit. At least one of her relatives visited her every day that she was in the nursing home.
Over the course of several months, the family began asking questions of the nursing home. They repeatedly expressed concern about the woman’s weight loss and urinary tract infections. Nursing home staff repeatedly told the family that the resident was fine.
After losing a large percentage of her body weight, the woman died. The nursing home had not been feeding her adequately. There were days when she did not have anything to eat or drink. They did not complete a mandatory dietary consultation nor did they update her mandatory care plan. There was no assessment of her diet.
The case went to arbitration because of papers signed when the woman was admitted to the nursing home. On the eve of a decision being rendered, the case settled. A woman in her 80s, with dementia, who resides in a nursing home, is not simply waiting to die. Her life has value and we were able to remind the nursing home of that and help the family recover from their terrible loss.
Weight loss is one of the key warning signs of nursing home neglect. Far too often, attorneys at our Louisville law office see tragedies unfold because nursing home malnutrition went too far. Don’t let your family be the next one touched by an avoidable tragedy. If you believe your loved one is not receiving the care he or she deserves in a residential facility, contact our office immediately.