When a loved one goes to live in a nursing home, we expect they’ll receive appropriate care. Proper nutrition and hydration are two of the lowest bars to clear, yet nursing home residents are frequently found malnourished and dehydrated.
Recognizing the signs of malnutrition and dehydration is key. If your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, you can advocate for their needs. Here’s how to spot the symptoms, so you can get further help from the Law Offices of Tim Misny.
Signs of and risk factors for malnutrition and dehydration
Malnutrition occurs when a person is unable to absorb the appropriate amount of nutrients. This might be due to refusal to eat, undereating or not receiving healthy food.
This study reports, “Both calorie and protein intakes are often low among nursing home residents—30 to 50 percent are substandard in body weight, midarm muscle circumference, and serum-albumin level, which indicates widespread PEU [protein/energy undernutrition]. … [T]he incidence of PEU in American nursing homes is similar to that of many poverty-stricken developing countries, where the effects of inadequate food intake are compounded by the catabolic effects of repeated infections caused by poor hygiene.”
- Decreased bone mass and muscle weakness, causing falls
- Lack of desire or refusal to eat
- Poor wound healing
- Increased illness or infections
- Weight loss
Dehydration is similarly serious: “Dehydration, defined as a rapid weight loss of greater than 3 percent of body weight, can result from increased fluid losses due to illness (e.g., diarrhea, infections, fever), the effects of medications (e.g., diuretics), or decreased fluid intake. Physiological changes that occur as people age (e.g., decreased ability of the kidney to concentrate urine, and decreased thirst sensation) may also contribute to dehydration. Changes infunctional and cognitive status (e.g., mobility and dementia) also put nursing home residents at risk for dehydration. People who must be fed because of functional or cognitive impairments are especially vulnerable. It takes 30 to 60 minutes to feed a person safely and sufficiently, and staffing in nursing homes is often inadequate for the task.” [Emphasis added.]
Dehydration may lead to:
- Intense thirst
- Less frequent urination and dark urine
- Dizziness and fatigue
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny right away. Our compassionate, experienced lawyers can guide you through the next steps. We’ll fight to make sure your loved one is safe, fed and hydrated—and that you receive compensation for their suffering.
Contact an Ohio lawyer for help with nursing home dehydration or malnutrition
Elderly Ohio residents deserve a better standard of care. When it comes to negligent healthcare providers, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 today for more information. We’ll work to make sure negligent nursing homes are held responsible.