Elderly nursing home residents who are incapacitated physically or mentally may no longer be able to feed themselves. If they are not getting the proper nutrition, they can slowly starve to death right under the noses of the ones charged with caring for them.
This, of course, is a form of nursing home neglect that should never occur. However, it still occurs far too often to ignore.
It can be a painstaking task to feed an elderly resident. They sometimes have no teeth or dentures to chew with, so their foods must be pulverized or otherwise of very soft consistency. A meal can take an hour or more for them to consume because of the length of time that it takes them to eat each spoonful. Then, too, some residents may not like the foods they are being fed and resist eating their meals.
Still, the nursing home aides must stick with the task and make sure that the residents are eating enough food to sustain and nourish their bodies.
What can you do if you suspect that the caregivers are not being patient enough to allow your loved one to eat at mealtimes? One solution might be to feed them yourself or to hire an outside assistant who can feed them and make sure that they have eaten each day.
Of course, this should not negate the nursing home’s or long-term care facility’s responsibility to ensure that your loved one receives adequate nutrition at each meal period. You may decide that you also want to seek legal redress against the facility for failing to feed your relative.