Dehyrdration and Malnutrition
Dehydration and malnutrition are common problems that many elderly individuals face, whether residing in an institution or living at home. Because an elderly individual’s sense of taste and thirst response are often diminished, these individuals many times fail to recognize their need for food and water. Dehydration and malnutrition can lead to serious health complications; therefore, recognizing dehydration and malnutrition in elderly individuals is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, recognizing dehydration and malnutrition in elderly individuals can be difficult, especially if the individual already has a significant illness or disability. However, for those individuals residing in institutions such as nursing homes, professional caregivers should be able to identify and treat both dehydration and malnutrition in a timely manner.
When elderly individuals living in a nursing home are suffering from dehydration or malnutrition, this could be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. Due to the fact that those employed by nursing homes are professionals, these individuals should be able to readily recognize potentially life-threatening problems such as dehydration and malnutrition. Failure to recognize or treat these problems can be classified as abuse. In some cases, nursing home staff may be responsible for the elderly individual’s dehydration or malnutrition. Nursing home staff may fail to properly care for the nutritional needs of the individual, thereby depriving them of the food and water they require. Whatever the circumstances through which the dehydration or malnutrition developed, nursing home staff may be held responsible for the abuse or neglect of the elderly individual.
Families that have placed a loved one in an institution such as a nursing home will want to observe their loved one for signs of dehydration or malnutrition. These signs include: confusion, disorientation, low-grade fever, irritability, constipation, dry skin, bowel blockage, low urine output, and tachycardia. If dehydration and malnutrition are not treated in a timely manner, the affected individual could face serious health complications such as stroke, renal failure, or even death. Families that believe their loved one is suffering from dehydration or malnutrition due to nursing home abuse or neglect may wish to retain the services of an experienced attorney. An attorney can held individuals ensure their loved one gets the proper care and justice they need and deserve.