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Dehydration

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Denver, CO Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

Access to clean drinking water is one of life’s basic necessities, and in the United States it is something that most of us can, fortunately, take for granted. Staying hydrated is critical to our health and to maintaining our normal body functions; and, for senior citizens living with certain illnesses and injuries, sufficient water intake can take on heightened importance.

In nursing homes, dehydration is a serious issue. There are several health concerns associated with dehydration, and many of these concerns are more severe among the elderly. When dehydration is a recurring or consistent problem, nursing home residents can face unnecessary complications from illnesses and injuries, and in the most tragic cases, dehydration can lead to life-threatening consequences.

Dehydration is among the most common consequences of nursing home neglect and abuse. It does not take long for the effects of dehydration to begin, and yet dehydration is often difficult to diagnose. As a result, residents and their families should be aware of the risk factors for dehydration in nursing homes (such as limited mobility and infrequent visits from nurses and staff), and they should seek medical attention promptly once they recognize the symptoms of dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Nursing Homes

The symptoms of dehydration for elderly individuals can be divided into two categories: early-stage symptoms and signs of a potential medical emergency. The early-stage symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Decreased urine output or infrequent urination
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Thirstiness

As a nursing home resident’s condition worsens, he or she may exhibit the following symptoms of severe dehydration:

  • Confusion
  • Lack of perspiration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Sunken eyes
  • Unconsciousness

When is a Nursing Home Responsible for Dehydration?

There are several factors that can lead to dehydration in a nursing home. Some of the most common issues we see include:

  • Failure to address residents’ unique needs – Nursing home administrators, nurses and staff must adhere to residents’ personal care plans, and this includes addressing any unique dietary or fluid-intake needs.
  • Inadequate access to water and other liquids – Residents who are immobile or struggle with limited mobility may not have adequate access to fluids in their rooms.
  • Infrequent or inconsistent resident visits – Infrequent or inconsistent visits from nurses and staff can result in residents not receiving the fluids, nutrition and medications they need. Residents who are abandoned will frequently suffer from dehydration as well.
  • Understaffing or untrained staffInadequate staffing can result in residents going for extended periods of time without hydration, and untrained staff members may not understand the need for residents to be hydrated or recognize the symptoms of dehydration.

Attorneys for Nursing Home Residents and Their Families in Denver, CO

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dehydration in a Denver-area nursing home, we urge you to contact us for help. You can call us 24/7 at (303) 333-8000 or send us a message online and we will respond as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we win just compensation.

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