Throughout quarantine periods during the pandemic, nursing homes experienced a significant increase in weight loss among their patients. Gerontology care providers and researchers from the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston stated that national standards and guidelines within the state are necessary in order to monitor these levels of weight loss in assisted living residents. The statistics through their studies showed that 40% of residents within their study experience weight loss of at least 5% of their body weight and 19% of residents lost 10% or more of their body weight. These percentages are frightening statistics that make you wonder, were they well-fed and given the nutrients they needed?
Maureen S. Beck, DNP, APRN, is a gerontological nurse practitioner who wanted to uncover the reasoning behind this weight loss. Beck states, “five percent weight loss is very significant and foretells bad outcomes for residents”. These significant percentages of weight loss can cause issues further down the line such as osteoporosis and muscle mass loss. These would increase the risk of falling, which is extremely dangerous to older adults.
Contributing factors to this weight loss in residents during the pandemic included room isolation and even a lack of group activities. Simply delivering the food to the residents and isolating them, can prevent many residents from eating. Some weaker residents may have trouble staying awake to eat, feeding themselves, or even cutting their own food. These are all tasks that assisted living is expected to aid with.
Contact our Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
DLP wants to fight for justice for nursing home victims of neglect or abuse. If you feel as though your loved one is being deprived of necessities such as food or help with tasks such as eating, we will fight for you. Continue to look out for weight loss in your loved ones to ensure they are being fed and getting the nutrients they need to thrive. DLP wants your loved one to be happy and healthy in assisted living. Remember… Injury? Call DLP. (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.