Dehydration is a problem amongst the elderly attributable to their diminished sense of thirst, according to Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic adds that dehydration is a reason why many elderly people end up in the hospital—yet there are many steps that caregivers can, and should, take to prevent dehydration in elderly nursing home residents.
If your loved one has been admitted to the hospital due to dehydration or is showing signs of dehydration, then it could be an indication of insufficient or negligent care in their nursing home. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to speak about options if you suspect your loved one is not being cared for properly.
Dehydration in the Elderly
According to a study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, the elderly may be susceptible to dehydration because:
- They generally lack the overall ability to retain water in the body that younger people have.
- They are generally not able to perceive their body’s thirst as well as younger people.
- Their renal system (namely, the kidney) often does not filter and conserve water as well as the renal system of younger people.
- Their body may not be able to move fluids throughout in as efficient a manner as younger people.
- Certain medications may increase the risk of dehydration.
These factors may put your loved one in a nursing home at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated and suffering additional health consequences that may be spurred on by dehydration.
Possible Health Problems Associated with Dehydration
When your body fails to retain as much fluid as it takes in, several potentially-serious health outcomes can occur, according to Mayo Clinic. Some of these outcomes may include:
- Health problems that impact the urinary tract and kidneys, such as kidney failure, urinary tract infection, or kidney stones.
- Seizures that are attributable to an imbalance of electrolytes in the body.
- Heat-related injuries due to your body’s inability to cool itself with internal fluids.
- Hypovolemic shock, which arises when blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels, causing this potentially-fatal condition.
These are potentially life-threatening medical conditions that may arise in serious cases of dehydration or after repeated cases of dehydration. It is important that your loved one’s caregivers, as well as yourself, look out for more overt signs of dehydration to prevent these conditions from arising.
The Signs of Dehydration
You may be able to spot signs of dehydration in your loved one before more serious health conditions arise, or at least as those conditions are in their early stages. According to MedlinePlus and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), some of the possible signs of dehydration in your loved one are:
- Less frequent and dark yellow urine
- Dry mouth and skin
- Abnormal thirst
If you spot one or more of these signs, alert your loved one’s caregiver. If they dismiss your concerns, you see dehydration symptoms frequently, or your loved one is hospitalized because of dehydration or a condition possibly caused by dehydration, then you may want to take more significant action.
You can call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more about how a lawyer may be able to assist you in getting a settlement to cover your hospital bills.
Protecting Your Loved One May Take Action on Your Part
While you have extended your trust by selecting a given nursing home, you do not want to forget that caregivers, staffers, or administrators might not always act in your loved one’s best interest.
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered from dehydration, it is within your rights to take action. Some of the initial actions you take may include:
- Calling 9-1-1 if their health may be at immediate risk
- Calling Adult Protective Services
- Seeking medical attention
- Consulting a lawyer
How a Lawyer May Be Able to Help
Speaking with those who can ensure your loved one is healthy should be your top priority. After you have done this, hiring a lawyer might be helpful to you. A lawyer may be able to:
- Collect medical records and other information about your loved one’s health and care.
- Conduct independent investigation into the conditions in the nursing home, including any negligence that may have caused your loved one to become dehydrated.
- Initiate legal action if you believe that staffers or administrators at the nursing home where your loved one lives have acted negligently in one or more ways.
- Represent you or your loved one in legal proceedings, which may include settlement negotiations or a trial.
- Obtain witness testimony relevant to your loved one’s treatment at their nursing home.
- Defend your rights and your loved one’s rights throughout their time as your lawyer.
Your loved one could be entitled to compensation if a nursing home mistreated them during their stay.
For a free legal consultation with an dehydration lawyer serving Phoenix, call (800) 794-0444
Call a Phoenix Dehydration Lawyer Today
Our primary goal is to ensure that your loved one does not become the victim of any further harm. Call a Phoenix dehydration lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation. Our clients pay nothing up front, and we only collect a fee if we secure compensation for you or your loved one.