Dehydration in the elderly is a real problem in nursing homes. Dehydration occurs when the resident loses more water than they take in. Our bodies require a certain amount of fluid to function properly. There are many preventable causes of dehydration, including medications that act as diuretics, nursing home’s failure to monitor for dehydration, senior residents having a harder time getting up to get water when thirsty and relying on caregivers to assess when they need fluids, and a senior’s sense of thirst becoming less acute as they age (therefore needing prompting to take fluids).
Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can effect a senior’s health and be fatal. Even mild dehydration can cause cardiac or renal problems. Dehydration also causes cognitive impairment (confusion), can be responsible for UTI’s, can lead to increased risk of pressure sores, hypernatraemia and death.
If your loved one is in a nursing home or other type of care facility, make sure that the staff has a hydration program in place, including assisting residents with drinking, as well as assessing your loved ones fluid intake is adequate to ensure that they are receiving adequate fluids.
If you believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or believe your family has a wrongful death claim, please contact our our office so that we can investigate your case by calling 916-643-2200. We are dedicated to representing families whose elders and dependent adults who have been injured, neglected or abused.