Dehydration can stem from medicinal side-effects, dental issues, disabilities, etc. In a nursing home setting, these conditions can also result from negligence or abuse. When a nursing home facility is understaffed or has inadequate caretakers, the drinking habits of residents often go unnoticed or unmonitored. Federal and state laws were created to help ensure that nursing homes adhere to a certain standard of care for all patients. This standard protects patients from issues like dehydration. If a nursing home fails to meet standard of care requirements, the resident could be seriously injured. The facility can also be held liable for any injuries resulting from such actions.
How Neglect Leads to Dehydration
Nursing homes are required to provide food and water, as well as other medically necessary liquids, to their residents. Also, their employees must be trained in order to anticipate the growing needs of their clients and recognize the warning signs when a client is not receiving enough water. A nursing home could be considered negligent if it fails to:
- Provide water and ensure it is consumed on a regular basis;
- Ensure every resident receives vitamins and minerals;
- Provide supervision during meals to ensure water is drunk;
- Provide appropriate staff to sufficiently monitor and feed patients;
- Educate staff on drinking methods and nutritional needs;
- Monitor problems that residents may have with swallowing – and whether or not that could lead to dehydration;
- Socially engage with residents to determine their water needs;
- Monitor and treat patients with medicinal side-effects that can lead to dehydration;
- Monitor dietary restrictions and how those can affect a patient’s ability to drink water; and
- Be aware of the signs of dehydration and take action the moment they are present.
Signs of Dehydration
The signs of dehydration are difficult to recognize, but to a trained individual, they should be more easily spotted. Some common signs of dehydration include, but are not limited to:
- Dark-colored urine,
- Loss of appetite,
- Vomiting or nausea,
- Memory issues,
- Muscle twitches,
- Aches and pains,
- Red or inflamed eyes,
- Inability to answer questions or lethargy,
- Extreme thirst,
- Ashy or dry skin,
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy frequently, and
- Labored breathing.
Should You Contact an Attorney?
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from neglect or is showing the early signs of dehydration, contact a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney immediately. An attorney can assist you with ensuring that your loved one receives proper care, but also can file a claim against that facility. Chicago only allows a certain amount of time to file such claims; failure to file can bar you from any legal action in the future.
If neglect is suspected, contact the team at Malman Law today. We offer free consultations, so schedule yours by calling 888-751-2297 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.