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Our aging parents and elderly relatives spent much of their lives nurturing us and caring for our well-being. When it’s time to care for them during their most vulnerable years, we expect a nursing home staff to treat our loved ones with the scrupulous care and respect they deserve. The elderly should never suffer from a lack of the very basic, life-giving necessities such as food and water, but studies from two nursing homes revealed that 39 out of 40 patients suffered from inadequate fluid intake. In some cases, dehydration in nursing homes becomes severe, causing pain, illness, suffering, and death.
If your loved one is spending their final days in a nursing home, it’s important to understand the common causes of dehydration, how to identify it as a problem with your loved one, and what to do if you suspect your elderly family member or friend has suffered or died from dehydration or neglect in a nursing home.
Dehydration occurs in nursing homes when elderly patients don’t intake enough fluids to replace what they lose through urination and perspiration. Too little water in the body disrupts the function of nearly all body systems. Dehydration may be mild, moderate, or severe. Studies show that the leading cause of dehydration in nursing homes is a lack of fluid intake between meals. Other contributors to dehydration in nursing home patients include:
Dehydration is the most common form of nursing home neglect. The chances of dying from dehydration as a nursing home resident are much higher than in any other population.
Despite the common problems in nursing homes that contribute to higher chances of dehydration, the staff at these facilities owe a responsibility to their residents to ensure proper care, including basic hydration and nutrition. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from dehydration or died from dehydration in a nursing home, an attorney with experience in nursing home neglect cases can help.
Symptoms of dehydration worsen over time when the condition becomes chronic. Eventually, it becomes a life-threatening condition. Family and friends visiting loved ones in nursing homes can check for the following signs of dehydration:
Symptoms of dehydration such as confusion and dry skin are easily mistaken for natural signs of aging which may contribute to the problem. Preventing dehydration is essential for elderly nursing home residents. The elderly may suffer permanent medical damage or decline if they’ve been chronically dehydrated. Severe cases may result in death.
If you suspect a nursing home resident has suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, or other forms of neglect, make a report to the nursing home and speak directly to the staff members who care for your loved one, asking them to take special care to ensure proper fluid intake. If the dehydration continues, worsens, or becomes severe, file a police report and contact a Phoenix elder abuse attorney with experience in nursing home neglect cases.
Mistreatment in nursing homes is illegal. Your loved one has rights and the nursing home staff has the duty of care to provide a proper diet and plentiful fluids and ensure its intake.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.