Elderly Dehydration and Malnutrition Cases in Philadelphia
Published on January 10, 2017 |
Author: Bruce Ginsburg
Elderly dehydration and malnutrition cases are a very common type of elder abuse and neglect case in nursing homes. These cases happen if a staff member forgets or refuses to give healthy foods, vitamins, and water that the residents need for optimal (or even minimal) health.
Author Janet Mentes reported that,
31% of the patients that resides in long-term care facilities were found at risk of dehydration.
And in Kayser-Jones 1999 study,
At that time, only one out of 40 nursing home residents consumed an adequate amount of liquids.
Furthermore, the study found that 25 of the 40 patients had illnesses that caused by or related to their dehydration issues.
These statistics show the failure to comply with certain “standards of care” that all nursing home facilities should be giving to residents. Poor staffing and inadequate supervision contribute to these problems in dehydration and malnutrition.
WHAT CAUSES ELDERLY DEHYDRATION?
Elderly people are mostly prone to chronic illnesses. The ability to conserve body fluid and a sense of thirst becomes less as you age. Some may also have a problem getting water for themselves, therefore, they are often compounded by illnesses such as dementia, diabetes, and may lack proper medication.
Elderly people who already have these illnesses and problems are more susceptible to dehydration that can cause urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even kidney failure.
These are the most common cases that resident might be facing:
- Elderly with kidney diseases have a greater risk of dehydration from an increasing need for urination.
- Elderly with untreated and uncontrolled diabetes also have a high risk of dehydration.
- Elderly with mobility problems or who are physically incapable of doing simple things like getting their own water or exercise have a high risk of dehydration.
- Elderly with fever, sore throats, or other sickness are also susceptive to dehydration because they have a poor appetite for eating and drinking.
Aside from these risks, several other medical problems may also weaken the immune system or cause a high rate of infections such as:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Worsening dementia
THE COMMON SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
- Elderly who suffers from headaches, dizziness or frequent unconsciousness and seizures
- Frequent complaints of thirst and shows a loss of appetite
- An increased heart rate and body temperature
- A decreased blood pressure and urine output
- Appears confused, fatigued, depressed, or otherwise low-mood state or even delirium
- If an elderly also appears lethargic, groggy, or sleepy
- If an elderly has dry skin, hair, or mouth and the tongue is swelling
- And also if an elderly has sunken eyes or skin that shrivels and wrinkles is a sign of dehydration
If any of these symptoms are found, it is important to ask for assistance as quickly as possible. Identify the signs as early as you can because these symptoms are life-threatening and need immediate treatment.
WHAT CAUSES ELDERLY MALNUTRITION?
The other leading nursing home neglect case is malnutrition. Elderly people who are in an unhealthy condition from an unbalanced diet are likely to lack proper nutrients needed for the body.
Malnutrition is often caused by the elderly person’s inability to ask or get his/her needs. Some of the reasons may also from the inadequate medications and supplements.
Other reasons may include the following:
- Support Staffs may have limited training and experience
- Support Staffs do not have adequate level of supervision
- Support Staffs may miss the schedule of offering food, water, and proper care
When the symptoms of malnutrition are obvious, it is best that you ask the person in charge about the resident’s condition and then consult a medical professional to prove if these causes are due to any abuse or negligence.
THE COMMON SIGNS OF MALNUTRITION YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
- Elderly who suffers chills, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness
- Elderly who shows sudden weight or muscle loss due to the loss of appetite and thirst
- If elderly suffers swollen and/or bleeding gums, tooth decay, or dry mouth
- A decreased organ function, mental decline, or memory loss
- Appears irritated, lethargic or confused
- Also appears to have bloated abdomen
- If elderly has dry skin and/or showing skin flushing
- And also if an elderly has urinated dark-colored urine
Inadequate nourishment is a big threat to a person’s health. It’s important that you contact a medical professional to learn the health status and nutritional needs of a loved one or friend who suffered from malnutrition.
The risk of elderly dehydration and malnutrition can lead to serious complications that endanger the health condition of the person. These risks include heat injury, seizures, and chronic illness.
CONTACT A NURSING HOME NEGLECT LAWYER IN PHILADELPHIA
If a nursing home is proven to have abused and neglected proper care, you have the right to force the nursing home to handle these issues. Keep in mind that dehydration and malnutrition are very threatening illnesses that may not only risk the person’s health but their life as well. If you think that your loved one or friend is a victim of either dehydration or lack of nourishment, report the problem to the supervisor or medical professional if the resident needs an immediate medical attention.
An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will take care of the case and get your loved one the proper care they need.
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