Dehydration in Nursing Homes
Is Dehydration a Sign of Abuse or Neglect?
Dehydration is the most common fluid and electrolyte problem that affects the elderly. In nursing homes across America, this issue affects two out of every five residents. There is never any reason that a resident should become dehydrated or fail to receive treatment for dehydration while in the care of a nursing home or similar senior care facility. If you or your loved one suffered complications—or if your loved one died—due to dehydration in a nursing home, you may have grounds for legal recourse.
The Smith Clinesmith Firm has a team of experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers who can evaluate your case and help you seek the proper legal remedies. We know how to investigate these types of claims and determine if the nursing home, staff, or caregiver was negligent or abusive. We also know how to aggressively pursue justice and the full, rightful recovery you and your family deserve. We have offices located in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago and proudly serve clients nationwide.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration in the Elderly
Dehydration is a common eldercare problem that needs to be addressed immediately, as it can lead to life-threatening consequences. Unfortunately, dehydration can also be a difficult thing to detect. If you suspect that your elderly loved one is not receiving proper or adequate care in a nursing home or long-term care facility, keep an eye out for signs of dehydration, as well as malnutrition. Dehydration in the elderly can be mild to moderate, or it can be a severe medical emergency.
The following are signs and symptoms that may indicate dehydration:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry, sticky mouth and skin
- Little or no urination
- Sunken eyes
- No tears when crying
- Delirium or unconsciousness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Shriveled skin with no elasticity
It should be noted that detecting dehydration in the elderly can sometimes be hard, as the symptoms of thirst and dry mouth are not always reliable. The best indicator is the color of urine; dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration. Other symptoms of dehydration include frequent headaches, low blood pressure, constipation, and dizziness.
Causes for Dehydration in Nursing Homes
There really is no excuse for abusing or neglecting an elderly patient in a nursing home, and that is why our lawyers fight to represent your case with all of the evidence and with research from our team of medical experts, nurses, paralegals, and other specialists.
Often you will find that dehydration in a nursing home is caused by one of the following:
- Unqualified caregivers and staff members
- Poor staff-to-resident ratio
- Failure to attend to residents
- Failure to take into account side effects of a resident’s medication
- Withholding of food/water
- General negligence
When a nursing home resident is suffering from dehydration, they become more susceptible to illnesses, such as infection, anemia, cognitive problems, hypertension, and even death.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Elderly Loved One Is Being Mistreated
If your loved one is exhibiting signs of dehydration or you believe they are being otherwise mistreated in a nursing home or similar care facility, it’s important that you act quickly. Depending on the severity of the situation, your loved one could be at serious risk. If you believe anyone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1; otherwise, you may report abuse to the nursing home administrator, local law enforcement, or to the local long-term care ombudsmen. If necessary, remove your loved one from the home as soon as possible.
The next step is seeking help from an experienced nursing home abuse/neglect attorney. If you can demonstrate that your loved one’s injuries, illness, or death was the result of nursing home negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your and your family’s damages. This can include things like the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, and more. Reach out to our firm for help with your nursing home neglect claim for dehydration in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, or anywhere in the U.S.
Request a Free Consultation Today
The dehydration lawyers at the Smith Clinesmith Firm are dedicated to protecting the rights and well-being of the elderly who are experiencing or have experienced nursing home abuse. If you suspect an elderly patient is suffering from dehydration, contact our office for a free consultation. We are ready to fight for you.
Nursing home abuse of the elderly is a serious crime. For a free consultation regarding your individual case, call the dehydration lawyers at the Smith Clinesmith Firm at (877) 976-8411.