Any older adult who resides in a nursing home in Orange County should be able to expect a certain level of care and should never have to worry about suffering serious harm as a result of neglect. Yet, as seniors and their family members learn much too often, as a result of intentional abuse and passive neglect resulting from understaffing at nursing facilities, elderly residents sustain serious and life-threatening injuries much more frequently than they should. One common harm resulting from nursing home neglect is dehydration, which can lead to serious complications. It is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of dehydration in a nursing home and to know what you can do in the event an elderly loved one suffers harm as a result of dehydration.
What is Dehydration?
While the term dehydration might often be used more colloquially to refer to thirst, it is a condition that can be particularly dangerous for older adults who do not have sufficient fluids. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person can suffer from dehydration “when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions.”
In older age, people tend to have “a lower volume of water in their bodies, and may have conditions or take medications that increase the risk of dehydration.” As a result, when an older adult suffers from even a seemingly minor infection, or does not drink enough water, dehydration can occur. While it is possible to remedy mild dehydration by consuming more fluids, the Mayo Clinic explains that “severe dehydration needs immediate treatment.”
How Dehydration Occurs in Nursing Homes
Dehydration typically occurs in nursing homes as a result of passive neglect. In other words, staff members at a nursing facility might fail to provide adequate care to identify an infection early on so that the nursing home resident can receive quick treatment, or fail to provide enough drinking water or other fluids for a physically incapacitated resident. To be clear, a staff member may never intend for a resident to become dehydrated, but as a result of a lack of care, the older adult does suffer from dehydration.
Dehydration can also result from a nursing home staff member intentionally refusing to provide water or other fluids. Regardless of whether dehydration results from intentional or unintentional behavior, it may be possible to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Learn More About Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim With Assistance From Our Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If you have an elderly loved one at a nursing home who has any of the signs of dehydration cited by the Mayo Clinic or other sources, it is essential to seek advice from an experienced Orange County nursing home neglect lawyer about your options. You may be able to move forward with a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
One of the experienced advocates at our firm can speak with you today about your case and your options. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about the services we provide to elderly nursing home residents and their families in Orange County and throughout Southern California.
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