Malnutrition & Dehydration in Nursing Homes

A proper diet and exercise; we’ve been told our entire lives how important these are to our overall health and wellbeing. Why is this basic need being neglected in so many nursing homes around the world? Improper feeding directly results in unexplained weight loss, medical problems and even adverse reactions to medications that are supposed to be taken with food.

There may be a number of reasons schedules are changed or simply not adhered to. Some reasons may be employee failure to communicate, inadequate information about a resident’s medical situation or plain, simple nursing home neglect.

Employees of the facility may fail to perform the tasks assigned to them or they may be overworked and overlook important details. Unfortunately in today’s economy, it’s difficult to find quality workers at prices some facilities can afford to pay. Long hours and hard work aren’t something a lot of people look forward to in a job that doesn’t pay what they feel they deserve.

The diet fed to seniors in these facilities may not be adequate for their needs. This can worsen an existing condition or lead to seniors or other residents becoming ill. Malnutrition causes rapid weight loss, issues with blood-glucose levels, blood pressure, anxiety and a host of other ailments. In extreme cases malnutrition can lead to death.

Choking is a real hazard to some living in assisted living facilities. Some may not have the ability to feed themselves, but are given a tray with food and utensils and left alone. When kitchen or cleaning crew collects the untouched plates, they assume the resident simply wasn’t hungry and often these incidents go undocumented.

Dehydration in Nursing Homes

Drinking an ample amount of water is required for a healthy body and mind. Many nursing home residents suffer from issues which make drinking liquids difficult. Shaky hands often cause spills that embarrass those of sound mind. Dementia and other mental illnesses may cause the resident to forget to drink liquids. Certain medications require higher liquid intake because they help flush excess fluids from the body.

Studies done on several nursing homes revealed that a staggering number of residents had insufficient fluid intake and some were ill due to complications from dehydration. Residents who become dehydrated may become dizzy, confused, suffer from low blood pressure or fainting episodes.

Seizures are also a common symptom of dehydration. Seizures have been known to cause more serious problems like falling and breaking a bone or multiple bones, or injuring other residents with the involuntary thrashing.

Avoiding Malnutrition and Dehydration

The best way to avoid malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes is to visit your loved one often so you notice even the smallest changes in their demeanor. Make sure when you visit that they have ice or water readily available. Prolong your stay to encompass a mealtime and make sure your loved one is properly taken care of by sitting in a nearby chair and watching employees perform their duties.

Call our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys For a Free Case Evaluation

If you feel uncomfortable with the level of care, or neglect, that your loved one experiences at any time, it’s vital that you contact a personal injury lawyer who specialize in cases surrounding the nursing home industry. It’s best to never try to represent yourself in court in a case with such a sensitive subject matter. Companies that run nursing homes have their own top-notch lawyers who will do everything in their power to keep you from earning a settlement to help your loved one. Contact our dedicated and experienced Philadelphia nursing home lawyers to for legal questions or a free case evaluation today!