While most residents of San Diego County who have loved ones in nursing homes are not thinking about risks of dehydration when they worry about elder abuse and neglect, it is important to know that dehydration is a serious issue that can lead to severe and life-threatening harm. Much too often, nursing home residents become dehydrated and suffer serious harm because employees at the facility failed to provide a reasonable level of care. Indeed, according to an article in Reuters, “people in nursing homes are more likely to be dehydrated than elderly people living in the community.”
What do you need to know about dehydration risks in nursing homes in San Diego County? Consider the following when you are looking for a facility for a loved one or assessing a loved one’s risk of injuries in a skilled nursing facility in Southern California.
Common Causes of Dehydration in Nursing Homes
Dehydration often occurs in nursing homes when residents do not receive the amount of care they need. In most cases, dehydration is not a result of intentional abuse (although it can be), but rather results from negligent care. In too many cases, nursing home staff do not monitor the way in which an older adult’s fluid intake could be insufficient, or the ways in which medication might increase the likelihood of dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are some of the most common causes of dehydration in the elderly:
- Failing to drink enough fluids;
- Having a health condition that increases the risk of dehydration;
- Taking a medication the increases the possibility of dehydration; and
- Illnesses, such as bladder infections.
The Mayo Clinic points out that, although a person of any age may become dehydrated, older adults are already at higher risk because they “naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies.”
Consequences of Dehydration in Elderly Nursing Home Residents
Dehydration can have serious and life-threatening consequences for older adults in San Diego County nursing homes. The Mayo Clinic cites the following:
- Heat exhaustion or heatstroke;
- Urinary tract infections;
- Kidney problems, including kidney stones or kidney failure;
- Seizures; and
- Hypovolemic shock.
It is important to seek advice from a lawyer if your loved one experienced any of the above in a nursing home setting.
Contact a San Diego County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
If you have an elderly loved one who suffered harm due to dehydration in a nursing home, it may be possible to hold the facility accountable. Even if there was no intentional abuse that occurred to cause the dehydration and resulting injuries, it is important to understand that nursing homes have a duty to provide a certain amount of care to residents and to ensure that they are not suffering from dehydration or malnutrition. Whether understaffing or lack of training resulted in dehydration and injuries, or a staff member intentionally avoided providing care to a resident, you may be able to move forward with a claim against the facility. One of our San Diego nursing home neglect attorneys can speak with you today about your options. Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn more about how we can assist you.
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