America’s older adult population is growing more rapidly than younger populations, and millions of seniors reside in our nation’s nursing home facilities. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a serious problem.
Dehydration is a frequent sign of nursing home abuse and neglect. Seniors are at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated, and this risk is even greater for those living in nursing homes.
If your loved one has suffered from dehydration, a Tulsa dehydration lawyer may be able to help. Your loved one could be the victim of more serious nursing home abuse and neglect. If they have suffered from illness, injury, or death while living in a nursing facility, it could be because of negligence or wrongdoing. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek damages. To learn more, contact our team.
Dehydration In Older Adults
Anyone can suffer from dehydration, but the condition is common in older adults. Several age-related factors increase the risk of dehydration in seniors, including:
- A naturally lower amount of water in the body due to aging.
- A naturally decreased sense of thirst due to aging.
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
- Mobility problems that may prevent them from getting water without help.
- Medications that contribute to dehydration.
- Dementia and confusion.
Certain underlying health conditions, like kidney disease and diabetes, increase the risk of dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, even minor illnesses, like the flu, bronchitis, or bladder infection, can lead to dehydration in seniors. Anyone who has suffered from a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting is at increased risk of dehydration.
Caregivers should pay attention to these signs of dehydration in the elderly:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Sunken eyes and cheeks
Minor instances of dehydration can be treated by increasing fluids, but serious dehydration can lead to life-threatening complications, such as urinary and kidney problems. Dehydration can result in urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even kidney failure.
Our bodies gain electrolytes, like potassium and sodium, through fluids. A lack of electrolytes in the body can result in seizures. Another severe complication of dehydration is hypovolemic shock, also known as low blood volume shock. This complication can cause a fatal drop in blood pressure and oxygen in the body.
If your loved one lives in a nursing home and has suffered an injury, illness, or death caused by dehydration, a lawyer can provide you with more information about seeking compensation.
Elder Abuse and Neglect
Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect may be more common than you think. According to data from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), a study of 2,000 nursing home residents found that 44 percent reported being abused, and 95 percent said they had been neglected or seen someone else neglected. Just as alarmingly, 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to abusing or neglecting residents during the previous year.
Nursing home abuse may be physical, mental, financial, or sexual. Neglect is another form of abuse, but it may not always be intentional. Neglect can happen when nursing homes are understaffed, the staff is overworked, or staff is poorly trained. Signs of abuse and neglect may include:
- Lack of toileting or changing disposable diapers
- Unexplained cuts, sores, bruises, or burns
- Excessive instances of falling, fractures, or other injuries
- Weight loss
- Withdrawing from others and from activities
- Lack of bathing and hygiene
- Ignored call bells or cries for help in the nursing facility
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Lack of mobility assistance
- Malnutrition and dehydration
Regardless of the cause, nursing home abuse and neglect is against the law. If you suspect abuse, you should report it immediately. Start by making a detailed and dated written report. This report can be submitted with nursing home administration, law enforcement, the health department (which oversees nursing home compliance in Oklahoma), agencies that advocate against elder abuse, or adult protective services.
If you witness abuse as it is happening, or immediate medical attention is needed, call 9-1-1. Reporting also can be done by calling the Oklahoma State Department of Health hotline at (800) 842-6336.
If your loved one has been harmed by nursing home abuse or neglect or has suffered because of dehydration, you may wish to seek the help of a Tulsa dehydration lawyer.
For a free legal consultation with a Tulsa Dehydration Lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
Abuse and neglect in nursing homes should not be tolerated. When you place your loved one in the care of a nursing home, you are putting your trust in their hands. When that trust is violated, and your loved one suffers, the facility and staff should be held accountable.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has worked on nursing home abuse and neglect cases nationwide. A Tulsa dehydration lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for:
- Medical bills: This includes any costs associated with your loved one’s injury or illness, such as surgeries, medications, ongoing therapies and treatments, and more.
- Pain and suffering: This includes compensation for physical pain, as well as damages for mental anguish, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one died because of their dehydration-related injury, you might be able to pursue damages for your pain and suffering. You may also be able to seek compensation on their behalf for funeral and burial costs.
Our team wants to help you seek justice so that you and your loved one can focus on healing. We have 50 years of combined experience fighting nursing home abuse and neglect.
Reach out to us for a risk-free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing up front and nothing out of pocket. We will only take a fee if we achieve a settlement in your favor. To learn more, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.