Residents of nursing homes deserve proper care and attention when it comes to their basic needs. Still, dehydration is common amongst seniors and can even be a sign of neglect at the hands of an assisted care facility.
Dehydration can result in numerous health problems for older adults. Seniors face the greatest risk for dehydration, and the consequences can be serious enough to prompt significant medical intervention.
Signs of dehydration
Water is essential for optimal health. Without proper hydration, either through drinking water or consuming foods with high water content, illness, and even internal damage, can occur.
There are many signs of dehydration, such as:
- Infrequent urination
- Dry mouth
- Dark urine
- Unexplained fatigue
Dehydration can occur along with other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, sleepiness or confusion, which should be cause for immediate medical attention.
Dehydration as nursing home neglect
Older adults face more risks of dehydration than other groups because of weakened bodily function and signals. Seniors are more prone to fluid imbalances, nausea and diarrhea, fevers, medication-related side effects, memory impairments and diet factors that either deplete water stores or do not adequately replenish lost fluids.
Assisted care facility staff is responsible for making sure that residents are properly hydrated, increasing water intake when necessary and keeping a watchful eye for symptoms of dehydration.
These facilities are bound by law to provide reasonable care to nursing home residents. Should severe medical symptoms occur due to a lack of fluids, it may be cause to pursue compensation for nursing home neglect and a lack of reasonable care for the resident.