Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 30, 2011
Nursing homes should provide a safe and caring environment for all residents, but they often fail to take of the very people they are supposed to protect from harm. This inadequate care often goes as far as failing to provide the basic necessities for human life — food and water.
The best way to prevent dehydration caused by negligence is for residents’ friends and loved ones to be very vigilant in noticing the early warning signs of neglect. The attorneys at Solomon & Relihan have worked with nursing home residents for over 30 years and have used their experience to compile the following tips about identifying and preventing dehydration.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is not as simple as water deprivation; it is a complex and serious condition that can hurt an elderly person. The body is made up of over 70 percent water, and lack of water intake breaks the cycle of replacing water through daily activities. When the body does not get enough water, then the body is unable to adequately replenish the nutrients and water loss suffered throughout the day. Water loss occurs when we sweat, vomit, urinate or remove waste from the body- even the act of breathing contributes to water loss. Therefore, water intake is important and monitoring the consumption of an elderly resident daily is key to prevention.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Loss of consciousness
Dehydration in Nursing Homes
In nursing homes, water deprivation is an all too common problem — but it should never happen. When it does, it can cause weakness and sickness, increasing the risk of infection and sometimes leading to wrongful death.
Dehydration can also cause confusion, which may be misdiagnosed as dementia, and can cause other conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and skin breakdown.
The nursing home should make sure that adequate beverages are available and that your loved one drinks them. Families visiting nursing homes can often spot dehydration by examining their loved one's skin. Skin that does not rebound when pressed may indicate lack of water.