Dehydration in Nursing Home Patients

Older people become dehydrated much more easily and quickly than younger people. Nursing homes that provide inadequate fluids or fail to detect chronic dehydration put elderly patients at serious risk and may be guilty of neglect.

Dehydration May Arise from Negligent Conditions

Dehydration is typically the result of reduced water intake or heightened water loss due to warm conditions or physical exertion. In cases of neglect, dehydration arises from avoidable deprivation.

The elderly are much more susceptible to dehydration than younger people. This is due to decreased body reserves and elevated thirst drives. Older people also experience more rapid fluctuations in their fluid status, and thus must be monitored carefully for signs of dehydration.

If dehydration goes unrecognized for long periods of time by nursing home staff and medical personnel, neglect is likely to be present. If elderly dehydration is a consistent or chronic problem, health complications may become severe or life-threatening.

Dehydration can be difficult to recognize, especially because symptoms often seem like the natural side effects of getting older. However, common signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Chapped lips
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine or low urine production
  • Skin discoloration
  • Infection
  • Fever
  • Vertigo
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Irritability

Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

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Nursing homes have a mandate to provide a reasonable standard of care to residents under their supervision. Dehydration incidents are completely avoidable, and often indicate caregivers are neglecting those under their care. When a nursing home or care facility fails to uphold the mandated standard of care, including failing to prevent dehydration, that facility may be liable for damages.

No matter how vigilant we are, we cannot watch our loved ones all the time. For those with an elder family member who has suffered neglect or abuse while under the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact us immediately to protect your legal rights. You can reach our team of elder abuse attorneys toll-free at 1-855-462-3330 or by using our online contact form.