There are several reasons why an elderly resident of a nursing home would suffer from dehydration. However, some circumstances may be preventable. Nursing home residents are older and often have medical conditions or take certain medications that may make them more susceptible to dehydration.
Nursing homes have a duty and responsibility to ensure all their residents receive proper hydration every day. Hydration ensures overall health, plus, it aids in digestion and even the healing of wounds. If your elderly loved one has suffered from dehydration as a resident of a nursing home, consider how a Savannah dehydration lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you receive justice for your loved one’s injuries.
Causes of Dehydration in a Nursing Home Resident
There are several reasons a nursing home resident may suffer from dehydration. The cause of dehydration may be as simple as not receiving enough water daily or the failure of the nursing home staff to properly supervise an individual resident to ensure they actually drink the water provided.
Additionally, some nursing home residents have challenges with swallowing, known as dysphagia, which is common in the elderly. In these cases, residents should receive proper monitoring to ensure they drink the water provided. Also, some residents have neurodegenerative diseases, such as tremors or Parkinson’s disease, that may make it harder for them to lift a glass of water on their own.
Other medical causes of dehydration may include suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or other gastrointestinal issues that make a person require more water and hydration.
Dehydration Due to Side Effects of Medications
Many elderly residents must take medications daily for chronic illnesses. In certain cases, these medications will have a side effect of dehydration. Every nursing home should have a care plan established for every resident that will allow the nursing home staff to properly monitor and provide extra supervision to those residents regarding their water intake.
Some of the types of medications that have the side effect of dehydration include the following:
- Diuretics can prove beneficial for kidney conditions, liver failure, glaucoma, heart disease, blood pressure, and edema. Common diuretics include Bumex (bumetanide), Diuril (chlorothiazide), Inspra (eplerenone), and others.
- Laxatives soften the stool but also decrease the amount of water in a person’s gastrointestinal system. Common laxatives that cause dehydration include Dulcolax (bisacodyl) and Colace (docusate).
- Chemotherapy causes several challenging side effects, including dehydration.
Other medications will cause the side effects of diarrhea or vomiting, which can dehydrate nursing home residents.
For a free legal consultation with a Savannah Dehydration Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Negligence and Dehydration
Nursing homes have basic standards of care for residents. Negligence in any form, including dehydration, can cause injury or even death. Some examples of instances where nursing home negligence directly causes dehydration include the following:
- Failure to provide water before, during, after meals, or throughout the day
- Lack of supervision to ensure that residents consume their daily water intake
- Understaffing that leads to the inability to provide proper hydration or supervision to assist residents with their water intake
- Lack of assistance for residents who have trouble swallowing
- Failure to monitor medications of residents to determine if a side effect includes dehydration
If a staff member does not properly notify any supervisor or physician regarding possible signs or symptoms of dehydration in a resident, the nursing home may be liable for an elderly person’s injuries. A failure to continually monitor and measure a resident’s water consumption could also cause dehydration.
The fault may lie with training protocols, or a lack of training for staff. Employers may not train staff properly, and this can lead to negligent employees that fail to provide water to residents, check a resident’s plan of care regarding any medications, or failure to provide education to help nursing home staff members identify dehydration.
The entire purpose of a nursing home is to ensure residents receive the proper care and supervision needed to keep them as healthy as possible. If you made the difficult decision to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, and they suffered any kind of dehydration due to negligence, you may have the legal right to pursue justice on their behalf.
Learn how a Savannah dehydration lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you with your next steps and help answer any legal questions you may have.
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Consequences of Dehydration in the Elderly
Research published for Cleveland Clinic indicates that while dehydration is a common medical problem in the elderly, it can be prevented. However, if it does not receive immediate and proper treatment, dehydration can actually lead to severe health issues, including death.
When an elderly person becomes dehydrated, they lack the simple water and fluids their body requires to function properly. Elderly residents of nursing homes often already suffer from medical challenges or have diseases or medical conditions that make it extremely important that they receive proper hydration.
If a body does not have enough water or proper fluids, health concerns can arise. An elderly resident of a nursing home may suffer serious medical complications, including cramps, muscle weakness, spasms, respiratory challenges, abnormal heart rhythms, paralysis, and even death.
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Learn How a Savannah Dehydration Lawyer Can Help
If you suspect that your elderly loved one has suffered dehydration in a nursing home that has led to additional serious medical issues or even death, learn how a Savannah dehydration lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights.
The statute of limitations for personal injury in Georgia under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 can impact your loved one’s case, so time is of the essence. In the event of a wrongful death or even a medical malpractice case, you may only have a limited time to pursue compensation.
Our team would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how you may have the legal right to pursue justice and recover awards against the nursing home for its negligent actions resulting in the dehydration of your loved one. Consider contacting our legal team by phone or online today.