Malnutrition, Dehydration & Nursing Home Neglect
July 16, 2014
When your elderly loved one needs some extra care from day-to-day, you may consider moving him into a nursing home so that he can receive the assisted living services that improve his daily quality of life. Unfortunately, however, not all nursing home provide the care that people may expect; in fact, in the worst cases, the staff at these facilities may outright neglect or even abuse your loved ones.
In fact, as the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports, about 11 percent of nursing home residents in the U.S. are the subjects of neglect or abuse at some point during their residency in these facilities. Additionally, about 1 in every 10 nursing home residents reportedly suffers from dehydration and/or malnutrition while living in nursing homes.
Although dehydration and malnutrition can be signs of other medical conditions that nursing home residents may be living with, in many cases, these conditions are indications that an elderly person is being neglected or abused in a nursing home. In this two-part blog, we will take a closer look at dehydration and malnutrition and how they can indicate that nursing home neglect or abuse is occurring. Don’t hesitate to contact the Portland nursing home neglect lawyers at the Savage Law Firm if you suspect that your loved has been victimized in any way in a nursing home facility.
Symptoms of Dehydration and Malnutrition
If you notice that your elderly loved one is exhibiting any the following symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition, make sure to start asking nursing home staff members some specific questions about possible neglect or abuse of your loved one.
- Extreme thirst
- Irritability and/or confusion
- Dry skin, particularly around the mount
- Sunken eyes
- Decreased urine output and/or darker urine than usual
- Low blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Increased breathing
- Delirium or loss of consciousness (in the worst or most extreme cases)
- Sudden, extreme weight loss
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Bleeding gums and/or tooth decay
- Cognitive impairment, including memory loss
- Loss of muscle mass
- Dizziness and/or confusion
- Dry skin
- Abdominal bloating.
How Nursing Home Staff’s Negligence Can Lead to Malnutrition & Dehydration
Some of the most common forms of negligence that can come at the hands of nursing home staff and can result in malnutrition and/or dehydration for residents include (but are not necessarily limited to) staff members’:
- Failure to regularly check on nursing home residents
- Failure to assist residents with eating and drinking when it’s known that people have impairments and need this assistance
- Outright physical, verbal, emotional and/or sexual abuse of residents, which can result in residents becoming depressed and no longer nourishing themselves.
Some of the factors that can increase the possibility that this type of negligence may occur can include:
- Staffing issues in nursing homes (In fact, some research has found that as many as 90 percent of all nursing homes in the U.S. are understaffed.)
- Lack of training for nursing home staff
- Nursing home administrators failing to conduct background checks on new hires (which could increase the risk of putting known abusers or predators in positions to harm nursing home residents)
- Nursing home residents having mental and/or physical impairments (which can limit their abilities to fight off abuse, speak up about neglect or even remember that they’ve been the subject of neglect or abuse).
Portland Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
Do you think your loved one may have been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse? If so, the Portland nursing home neglect attorneys at the Savage Law Firm are ready to fight for you. Since 1977, the Portland nursing home neglect attorneys at the Savage Law Firm have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.
While this means that our Portland nursing home neglect lawyers will work diligently to help our clients tell their stories in court, it also means that our attorneys and dedicated staff will vigorously stand up to insurers and others outside of the courtroom to ensure that our clients are able to obtain the settlements they deserve.
Contact Us Today
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.
We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.