Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration

Cranston & Edwards PLLC – Morgantown, WV Trial Attorneys

Has your loved one suffered from malnutrition or dehydration while residing in a nursing home or long-term care facility in north central West Virginia? If so, the experienced trial attorneys at Cranston & Edwards PLLC in Morgantown, WV may be able to help you file a claim to get the compensation your loved one deserves. One of the most critical responsibilities of personal care facilities is to ensure that residents receive appropriate nutrition and hydration on a regular basis throughout each day. If an individual is experiencing dehydration or malnutrition, it may be indicative of a chronic situation of neglect or abuse.

What Are the Signs of Dehydration and Malnutrition?

Although a nursing home may have plenty of food and drinks available and served to residents throughout the day and evening, this is not enough to prevent dehydration and malnutrition. Many elderly individuals are unable to move food and drinks to their mouths effectively and require feeding assistance. In addition, elderly individuals do not always experience a strong sensation of hunger and thirst even when many hours or days pass without receiving adequate hydration and nutrition. Know the signs of malnutrition and dehydration. If your loved one is exhibiting these symptoms, it may be time to seek a remedy.

Dehydration Signs

  • Weakness/Dizziness/Fainting
  • Dry Mouth, Lips, and Skin
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Confusion or Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Less Than 4 Urinations per Day
  • Frequent Hospitalizations

Malnutrition Signs

  • Weight Loss
  • Complaints of Feeling Cold
  • Lack of Appetite and Interest In Food
  • Dizziness/Weakness
  • Confusion and Difficulty Concentrating/Talking
  • Dry Skin and Hair
  • Tiredness and Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed Wound Healing
  • Visible Loss of Muscle Mass and Fat
  • Overall Decline In Health

Nursing Homes Must Provide Quality Foods With Proper Nutrients

Malnutrition and dehydration are serious concerns that can rapidly lead to fatality if left uncorrected. Even when individuals do receive regular meals, they may not be receiving the proper nutrients necessary for survival. Elderly individuals have specific nutrition requirements that the nursing home facility is responsible for being aware of and providing for each patient. Many individuals also have personal nutrition requirements that must be addressed. Those with milk and wheat allergies, as well as medical conditions affecting efficient digestion, must receive a proper non-inflammatory diet so that their digestive systems are able to receive adequate nutrition. In addition, the diets of those with diabetes, high blood pressure, COPD, and other serious health conditions must be accommodated.

Diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole foods, proteins, whole grains, real dairy products, quality legumes, and plenty of fresh, clean water are typically appropriate for many elderly individuals, although diets provided are likely to require a high degree of specialization. If highly processed foods containing high-salt, high-fat components and processed carbohydrates and sugars make up a large portion of your loved one’s diet, that is not a good sign. Many nursing homes attempt to cut costs and increase their profit by serving patients cheap, nutritionally inadequate foods. This may be considered abusive behavior. Be sure to stop in during meals times and observe what is being served.

Nursing Home Staff Are Responsible for Ensuring Hydration & Nutrition

Your aging family member deserves to receive adequate portions of quality foods and drinks that provide the essential nutrients, vitamins, and proteins indicated by standard nutritional and medical guidelines. Appetizing meals should be served in a respectful manner and nursing home staff should be trained to assist with feeding and drinking tasks, as well as how to recognize malnourishment and dehydration and the steps required to address it should it occur. Regular monitoring of dietary and nutritional needs of all patients should occur daily, with an enhanced focus on those at increased risk. In addition, it is essential that the facility be adequately staffed in order to provide adequate hydration, nutrition, and all other services that the facility is contracted to provide. If you notice a deficiency that may have led to your loved one’s serious personal injury, contact Cranston & Edwards PLLC. We offer a free case evaluation to help you determine if you are eligible to file a claim and recover damages.