Dehydration Can Result In Infection/Death In Nursing Home Setting

Dehydration, or inadequate hydration, is a serious problem facing nursing home residents. Dehydration means that an individual is losing more fluid than his or her body is taking in. Although it would seem that keeping a resident hydrated in a nursing home setting would be simple enough, it is one of the most common diagnoses when nursing home residents are discharged from a nursing home to a hospital.

Dehydration can occur if residents are on certain types of medication and/or if a resident has diarrhea. In addition, some nursing home residents become refuse to eat or drink. However, in these situations, it is incumbent upon the nursing home staff to be more vigilant in monitoring the resident’s hydration. Unfortunately, dehydration is often the result of nursing home neglect and/or understaffing. Dehydration can lead to:

1) Infection;
2) Confusion;
3) Weakness;
4) Bedsores;
5) Pneumonia; and 6) Death.

Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, grey or ashen skin, confusion, dark or amber urine, low urine output, fever, delirium, and infection. We cannot stress enough how important it is for families of nursing home residents to be a constant presence where a loved one is a resident. By doing so, the family members can observe and react appropriately if signs or symptoms of neglect or abuse arise.

At Gallivan & Gallivan, we represent individuals who have suffered from dehydration or malnutrition as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, please contact us to discuss the matter further.

Website Resources:

Dehydration, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Staff.

Malnutrition & Dehydration in Nursing Homes, Nursing Home Abuse Resource Center.

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