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Why may dehydration signal nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2021 | Firm News

Many nursing homes in Washington and across the country provide top-notch care for residents. Regrettably, countless others fail to meet even the basic needs of those who are in the final stages of life. If you worry about the care your elderly relative is receiving, monitoring him or her for signs of dehydration may be wise.

As the Mayo Clinic notes, older adults have smaller reserves of fluids in their bodies. This means dehydration can quickly become an acute health concern. If your relative is not receiving adequate care at the nursing home, dehydration may be an early warning sign of neglect.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

The human body simply cannot function optimally without a sufficient supply of fluids. If your relative is suffering from dehydration, you may notice one or more of the following:

  • Abnormally foul-smelling or dark urine
  • Infrequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Dehydration can quickly progress from a minor issue to a potentially life-threatening one.  Consequently, if your loved one is showing signs of dehydration, you may not have long to intervene.

Why are elderly individuals at risk?

Individuals of any age are vulnerable to dehydration. Still, adults who live in nursing homes may be particularly at risk due to their age, medications and medical conditions. Likewise, if nurses at the facility do not offer fluids that appeal to your relative, his or her health may be in danger.

It is up to the nursing home to ensure your loved one does not suffer from dehydration. Ultimately, though, if your relative does not consume enough fluids at the facility to remain healthy, you may need to find a different nursing home.