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Dehydration is one of the most common issues that affect older adults. The loss of body fluids can severely impair your bodily operations. Your body requires regular replenishment of water to function at its highest potential. Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you can take in.
Older adults are particularly prone to dehydration. Unfortunately, it is a serious issue for their health. It can cause various disorders, some of which are fatal.
What Causes Dehydration In Older Adults?
Residents in nursing homes experience dehydration for various reasons. First, some of them may have trouble swallowing. They may not communicate their need for fluids to the nursing home staff when they are dehydrated.
The nursing home staff might be unable to understand the residents’ needs for water and other fluids if there is a language barrier.
However, nursing homes must take precautions to ensure that no patient is dehydrated. They must realize that not everyone will express their needs for fluid intake.
In addition, nursing home facilities must offer adequate training to the staff. This way, they can understand and anticipate patients’ needs.
Signs of Dehydration In A Nursing Home Resident
Vertigo and dizziness are definite indicators of low fluid levels in the body. Take seriously any claims that your loved one may make about feeling queasy or lightheaded. They could be indicators of major health issues.
Using a Diuretic
Diuretics, also known as water tablets, reduce bodily fluid to treat conditions like high blood pressure. These medications frequently cause dehydration because the body loses a lot of water. Make sure the care plan for your loved one, if you are aware that they are taking a diuretic, details the nursing home’s efforts to prevent dehydration.
A loved one’s unexplained and significant weight loss is a telltale sign that something is wrong. It could be an indication of hydration and/or nutrition problems.
Failure to Consume all Liquids
To keep your loved one hydrated, the nursing home should give them the recommended liquid intake. Dehydration may occur if your loved one does not drink all the drinks offered.
Failure to Eat or Take Medication
If your loved one does not consume enough food, they are at a high risk of dehydration. Therefore, you must ensure that your loved one eats every meal and takes their prescription.
Diminished Mental State
Dehydrated nursing home patients often experience confusion and disorientation. Ask the staff about dehydration and malnutrition as soon as you observe a change in your loved one’s condition.
Prolonged diarrhea can contribute to significant loss of bodily fluids. Make sure your loved one is receiving enough extra fluids and electrolytes at the nursing home to replace those lost due to diarrhea.
When your temperature is elevated, the body quickly uses up its fluid reserves to prevent effects of dehydration. If your loved one has a fever, ensure that they have a steady supply of water.
Dealing With Nursing Home Dehydration
Elderly residents of nursing homes often experience dehydration. However, you must put in the effort to deal with it. You need help if a nursing facility fails to provide adequate hydration for your loved one.
Contacting an Expert Nursing Home Lawyer
You may need to make a call to your attorney like the ones at nursinghomelawyerpa.com if a loved one faces the risk of dehydration problems. Your lawyer should help you address issues like nursing home abuse, understaffing, and bedsores. They will explain resident rights and help you pursue compensation when necessary.
When you think an older loved one may be dehydrated, the best thing you can do is to alert their caregivers. This way, they can take care of the problem right away. Hold those healthcare professionals responsible if they fail to take prompt action. A good lawyer should help you ensure that your loved one gets the treatment they deserve.