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Lack of qualified dietician may constitute nursing home neglect

Previously on this blog we have discussed malnutrition that occurs in nursing homes. When innocent residents are subjected to inadequate nutrition, their health and well-being can be put at serious risk. Far too often, those who are subjected to malnutrition suffer from worsened medical conditions or death. Recovering from the damages malnutrition can impose can be difficult, but pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit may be beneficial.

In order to succeed on one of these claims, though, a victim or his or her family will have to establish that a nursing home and/or its staff acted negligently, which thereby caused the victim's harm. One way to prove neglect is to demonstrate that a nursing home failed to abide by laws and regulations that are designed to ensure residents' safety.

When it comes to nutrition, New York's regulations requires nursing homes to employ a qualified dietitian on a full-time, part-time, or consultant basis whose job is to design nutritious meals that are well-balanced and meet the needs of residents. New York law even spells out characteristics that would render an individual as a qualified dietitian, including registration with the America Dietetic Association, appropriate education and training in the field, or certain certifications. To ensure that food services are carried out appropriately, the nursing home must also ensure that there is adequate staffing.

If a nursing home does not employ a qualified dietitian, or that dietitian's meals are inadequate, then innocent residents may be harmed. In these instances, victims and their families may be able to recover compensation for their damages if they can prove negligence and causation. To discover whether this type of neglect has occurred, it may be appropriate to subpoena a nursing home's employment and dietary records. An attorney who is experienced in this field will know how to handle such a matter with skill.

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