Dehydration and malnutrition are the two leading sources of nursing home neglect and abuse. Residents suffer when they do not get adequate nutrition or hydration, and these conditions in the long term can lead to more serious health concerns. It’s important to hold these nursing home facilities accountable, and Andy Arnold – an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Greenville, SC – knows how.
The elderly are at a higher risk of dehydration than others for two main reasons: reduced fluid intake and increased fluid loss. These are caused by various factors, including altered thirst sensation, greater use of medication, more disease processes, and less ability to hydrate themselves. Nursing homes should make proper hydration, as well as detection of dehydration, a primary goal.
Malnutrition is trickier to notice until it has occurred for a while. Often, residents eat plenty of food, but the food they are given is lacking in nutrients. They might be getting the right amount of calories, but without proper nutrition accompanying it, they can become seriously ill.
Your Loved Ones Deserve to be Safe
Proper hydration and nutrition require care, planning, close attention to the residents, and common sense. Nursing home abuse lawyer Andy Arnold points out prevention can be as simple as these steps:
- Increase fluids at mealtime
- Increase fluids while taking medication
- Make sure that meals are approved by a licensed dietitian
- Maintain proper humidity
- Keep tabs on resident appetite
Does your loved one exhibit any of these warning signs for dehydration:
- Dark urine
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Painful urination
Symptoms of malnutrition can include:
- Weight Loss
- Swollen and/or Bleeding Gums
- Fragile Bones, Muscle Loss, Weakness
- Mental Decline and Memory Loss
- Bloated Abdomen
- Dry Skin
- Tooth Decay
A dietician or doctor may also consider the resident’s appetite, frequency of medications, and body weight. If dehydration is suspected, the nursing home should act quickly by performing lab work and implementing proper medical treatment, such as IV fluid intake with proper sodium levels.
Consult with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Because the elderly are already more prone to illness, dehydration and malnutrition only increase chances of serious illnesses. If not quickly and properly treated, dehydration and malnutrition can be fatal. There is no excuse for nursing home residents to endure such danger while under the care of health professionals.
Put an end to elder abuse. Consult with South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer Andy Arnold at 864-242-4800.