When an elderly individual is placed to live in a nursing home, it is expected that they are going to be properly cared for. This includes being provided with all of their meals along with enough to drink to avoid dehydration. Unfortunately, there are instances where some residents are not provided with ample food and/or water which can lead to them becoming malnourished and dehydrated.
So, if you have a loved one who is currently living in a nursing home in Tampa and you visit them often, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Tampa, FL encourage you to keep an eye out for any of these signs which might be an indicator that your relative isn’t eating enough or consuming enough water.
What is Dehydration and What Are Some Signs of It?
Dehydration, as you probably already know, is when a person loses more fluids than they take in and their “body doesn’t have enough water or other fluids to carry out its normal functions,” according to the Mayo Clinic. When older adults become dehydrated it can be especially dangerous for them as many are frail and already suffering from many other health conditions.
Some of the common causes of dehydration stem from severe diarrhea and/or vomiting. The Mayo Clinic also pointed out that older adults naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies and may suffer from conditions or are required to take medications that increase the risk of dehydration. That is why it is especially important that nursing home staff monitor a resident’s fluid intake as well as how often they may be using the restroom or unable to keep food down.
Some signs of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
What is Malnutrition and What are Some Signs of it?
According to Medical News Today, “malnutrition results from a poor diet or a lack of food. It happens when the intake of nutrients or energy is too high, too low, or poorly balanced.”
Signs of malnutrition might include:
- Tiredness and irritability
- Lack of appetite or interest in food
- Always feeling cold
- Loss of fat, muscle mass, and body tissue
- Longer healing time for wounds
- Difficulty breathing
- Skin may be dry, thin, inelastic, pale, and cold
- Cheeks appear hollow and eyes sunken
- Hair becomes dry and sparse, and falls out easily
It is vital that nursing home staff members keep an eye out for signs of malnutrition and address the condition immediately as it could cause a person to recover from an illness at a much slower rate and even leave their body more susceptible to disease. It is equally important that staff take notice when a resident isn’t taking in enough fluids.
What should you do when you notice signs of dehydration and/or malnutrition?
If you find that your relative or spouse is showing signs of what you believe might be dehydration or malnutrition, be sure you report your concerns to the head nurse or someone else who is responsible for caring for them.
Now, if you find that after visiting your relative that you notice some of the signs mentioned above, be sure you bring this to the attention of the head nurse as well as any other healthcare workers who are responsible for monitoring and caring for your loved one. Unfortunately, there are times where residents are neglected and even abused in Tampa nursing homes, and this can lead to them suffering from dehydration and malnourishment.
In the event you find that the staff isn’t properly caring for your loved one as the signs continue to appear, perhaps consider taking them out of the facility and moving them to another nursing home that has received excellent ratings. Should you have any questions pertaining to what you should look for when choosing a nursing home or which are considered to be some of the best in the Tampa area, you can always contact a Tampa, FL nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer as they may be able to provide you with some advice pertaining to this.