Without proper training, the nursing home staff cannot perform their job to care, supervise, and protect the elderly residents of their facilities. Nursing homes remain woefully understaffed, and many do not follow the requirements of staffing established under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act.
However, if the nursing home has proper staffing, but the staff does not have proper training, residents may suffer serious injuries or fatalities as a result of their negligence or abuse. One of the main causes of serious concern of elderly residents in nursing homes relates to dehydration. Without proper hydration, elderly seniors can suffer medical complications or even death.
If your loved one suffered injuries as a result of the nursing home’s failure to train the staff to recognize symptoms of dehydration, learn more about your legal rights.
Failure to Train the Nursing Home Staff Appropriately
Nursing homes have serious challenges regarding staffing throughout the United States. Many facilities have astronomically high turnover rates in the staff, due to the overworking of employees.
In many cases, nursing home staff members simply crack under the pressure of the long hours and stressful environment and either leave their employment or fail to appropriately take care of residents in the nursing home. In worst-case scenarios, nursing home staff members will abuse residents out of exhaustion, frustration, and lack of training regarding how to handle stressful or life-threatening situations.
Nursing homes have a responsibility and a legal obligation to appropriately train their staff to properly care, monitor, and supervise all residents in their facility. They have an obligation to ensure that all residents receive proper medication in a timely manner, repositioning if they are bedridden, assistance with daily tasks if necessary, and ensure that every resident receives proper nutrition and hydration. Without proper training, these nursing home staff members simply do not have enough guidance or education to properly identify serious medical conditions or injuries.
Failure to Train the Staff Results in the Failure to Recognize Symptoms of Dehydration
Nursing homes have a duty and responsibility to properly train their staff to take care of residents’ needs and requests.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, hydration is a fundamental requirement of all people, especially the elderly, and dehydration is an overlooked medical condition in the senior population.
Without proper training, nursing home staff employees simply have no education or guidance regarding how to ensure the safety of elderly residents. Elderly seniors require water for hydration purposes, especially due to their frailty and overall weakened health.
Water and hydration provide a foundation for the rest of their health. Without proper hydration, nursing home residents may suffer serious medical conditions or even death. The failure to train the nursing home staff regarding proper hydration can result in their failure to recognize the symptoms of dehydration, which can include the following, according to Mayo Clinic:
- Loss of appetite
- Skin flushing
- Dry skin
- Parched or cracked lips
- Difficulty speaking
- Dark-colored urine
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty breathing
Any sign or symptom of dehydration should receive immediate attention by a nursing home staff member, and in some cases, a physician should receive notification in order to ensure that the resident receives proper medical care.
Consequences of Failing to Recognize Symptoms of Dehydration in the Elderly
If a nursing home facility fails to train the staff to recognize symptoms of dehydration, the resident may develop an overall weakened immune system, additional health challenges, bedsores, worsened dementia or neurocognitive function, electrolyte imbalances, ulcers, or additional infections, such as urinary tract infections.
The most serious consequence of dehydration in an elderly person is death. It is critical if you ever notice that your loved one in a nursing home exhibits any of the above symptoms that you take them for an immediate medical evaluation as soon as possible.
Additionally, make sure to visit with the management of the nursing home staff to have your concerns addressed regarding your loved one. If you feel that you do not receive the answers you deserve, you have the legal right to contact Adult Protective Services, and if necessary, contact law enforcement.
Learn How We Can Help
Overstaffing and undertraining of employees in nursing homes is a widespread problem throughout the United States.
If you feel your elderly loved one suffered from dehydration as a result of the failure of the staff to recognize symptoms of dehydration, you might be able to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses.
Consider contacting our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 today to have your questions answered and learn your legal rights to ensure that your elderly loved one receives justice.