If you decided to move a member of your family to a nursing home, you put your faith in the staff to provide appropriate care. In some cases, employees and administrators fail to meet their obligations, and vulnerable senior citizens suffer devastating injuries.
Dehydration is a common problem in nursing homes and one of the most frequent reasons why senior citizens are hospitalized. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to dehydration and can experience serious health problems and even death if they do not get the amount of fluids they need.
If your loved one experienced dehydration in a nursing home, an Atlanta dehydration lawyer may be able to help. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect across the United States. We can investigate why your relative did not receive adequate fluids and can hold those responsible for your family member’s suffering accountable. Our team can work to recover a financial award on your loved one’s behalf. Contact our office to speak with a member of our staff.
How Dehydration Can Affect Senior Citizens
The body needs an adequate supply of fluids to eliminate waste, regulate body temperature, and keep blood pressure in a safe range. Older adults are one of the populations that is more susceptible to dehydration, as they have a lower water volume, according to Mayo Clinic.
Severe dehydration can have life-threatening consequences. Insufficient fluids can make it more difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Severe dehydration can cause weakness and confusion, make senior citizens susceptible to bedsores and infections, and increase the risk of death.
You may detect signs of dehydration when you visit your relative at the nursing home. Elderly people who are dehydrated may be confused or dizzy and may have trouble walking. They may complain of a headache or dry mouth and may have sunken eyes, a rapid heartbeat, or high blood pressure. Dehydrated senior citizens may also experience constipation or infrequent urination.
How Senior Citizens Who Live in Nursing Homes Can Become Dehydrated
Different individuals need different amounts of hydration based on their age, weight, activity level, diet, and overall health. People can get fluids by drinking water and other beverages and by eating foods that contain water, such as fruits, vegetables, and soup.
Several factors and scenarios can cause elderly nursing home residents to become dehydrated. Senior citizens frequently take multiple medications to treat various medical problems. Some drugs can cause elderly people to urinate or sweat more than usual. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to dehydration. If elderly people do not consume enough to replace the fluids they lose, they can become dehydrated.
Decreased kidney function is common as people age. That makes it harder for the body to conserve fluids.
Elderly individuals may not feel thirsty when their bodies need hydration. If nursing home staff do not realize that they need fluids, residents may become dehydrated.
Seniors in nursing homes may become dehydrated because of neglect or abuse. Staff members may not have been trained in how to spot signs of dehydration in elderly people or may not understand how an individual’s health conditions and medications can affect his or her need for fluids.
Understaffing can also play a role. Employees may be overwhelmed and may not have the time to make sure that residents are getting enough fluids.
Nursing homes should provide meals that meet residents’ nutritional needs and keep them hydrated. If staff do not serve enough fruit, vegetables, and other foods that contain fluids and provide enough water and other beverages, seniors may not get the amount of hydration they need.
Dehydration in nursing homes may be a result of abuse. Staff members may deliberately withhold fluids to punish seniors for things they said or did.
For a free legal consultation with an dehydration lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
How an Atlanta Dehydration Lawyer Can Help Your Family Seek Justice
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has been serving victims of nursing home abuse and neglect since 1985. Our firm has represented clients in all 50 states.
We can investigate to figure out how your loved one became dehydrated and who was responsible. Our team can review your family member’s medical records to learn about his or her health conditions and medications and whether they played a role in the dehydration. We can investigate whether staff provided water, other fluids, and hydrating foods at regular intervals. If nursing home employees did not provide adequate hydration, we could find out whether that was due to lack of training, understaffing, or deliberate abuse.
Georgia law has specific provisions that are intended to protect vulnerable populations, such as senior citizens who live in nursing homes. Under GA Code § 16-5-101 states that when a guardian who willfully deprives a disabled adult, elder person, or resident of necessary sustenance that jeopardizes the individual’s health and well-being, it is considered neglect.
If our investigation turns up evidence that your loved one became dehydrated due to the nursing home staff’s neglect or abuse, we can work to pursue justice. We can file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility to seek financial compensation.
The process of investigating nursing home abuse and neglect and pursuing financial compensation is often long and complex. We know that many victims and their family members do not have the financial resources to pay an attorney upfront. Our firm works on a contingency basis. That means we take no money upfront, and only receive a fee if we obtain a financial award on a client’s behalf.
The sooner you get in touch with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, the sooner our team will be able to start investigating and putting together a plan to seek justice for your loved one. Call our office to discuss your concerns with a member of our staff and to learn how we may be able to help.