Common Signs of Dehydration in Nursing Home Residents
People are often admitted into nursing homes because they require regular round-the-clock care that family members cannot provide. Along with medical treatments, which are sometimes quite complex, nursing homes should also provide basic care for the residents in their care, including access to sufficient water and other drinks.
As people become older, their bodies cannot detect thirst as well and they also cannot hold large reserves of water. Nursing home staff members must make sure all of their residents are properly hydrated but inadequate staffing and a lack of supervision are common causes of dehydration in the elderly. Below, our Tampa dehydration attorney outlines the signs to watch for.
What Causes Dehydration in Nursing Homes?
Like most issues that arise in nursing homes, improper supervision and understaffing are the main causes of dehydration in long-term care facilities. However, there are other common causes, as well. These are as follows:
- Sore throats from illnesses or conditions that make seniors less likely to drink,
- Vomiting and diarrhea due to illness,
- Excessive sweating, which is often caused by medications for cancer, and
- Diuretics, which lead to increased urination
While it is sometimes difficult to ensure nursing home residents are properly hydrated, staff members must still prevent dehydration from occurring. When the signs of dehydration are noticed and addressed early, it is much easier to avoid complications.
Common Symptoms of Dehydration
Dehydration has many common symptoms. In the early stages, the symptoms can seem quite minor. As dehydration progresses, however, the symptoms become much more serious. Early symptoms include:
- Dry cough or dry mouth
- Flushed skin
- Swollen feet
- Low blood pressure combined with high heart rate
- Lack of appetite, but potential craving for sugar
Dehydration in later stages will show the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Muscle twitching
- Lack of sweating
- Body temperature over 102 degrees
Dehydration Causes Serious Complications in Seniors
Dehydration is a danger for people of all ages but as with most conditions, it is even more serious in seniors. Serious complications can arise from dehydration and they include:
- Kidney stones, kidney disease, or kidney failure
- Brain swelling
- Seizures due to an imbalance of electrolytes
- Urinary tract infections
In the worst of cases, a senior can suffer from hypovolemic shock. This happens when oxygen levels and blood pressure drop. The condition is extremely serious and can even be fatal.
Our Dehydration Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Family
Failing to make sure nursing home residents are properly hydrated is classified as neglect under federal law. At Kohn Law, our Tampa dehydration attorney knows the serious complications that can arise from the condition. If your loved one has suffered due to dehydration and a lack of proper care, we can help you file a claim against the nursing home so your family can receive the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to request a free consultation with our experienced attorney and to get more information.