Food and water are basic staples of life and no one can survive without them for more than a few days. Dehydration is a serious and painful ailment, one which can lead to cognitive difficulties, extreme discomfort, thirst, confusion, lethargy, fatigued, and eventually fatality. Malnutrition is a serious and painful condition, too, one which can lead to pain, lethargy, fainting, loss of hair, weight loss, weakness, and eventual death.
While most families assume that nursing homes will at least offer food and water to residents, nursing home abuse attorneys in Hollywood, Homestead, and Hollywood regularly see cases of malnutrition and dehydration in caregiver environments. If this has happened to a family member, contact Flaxman Law Group online at 866-352-9626 for a free consultation with an attorney.The Dangers of Malnutrition and Dehydration
When a senior citizen doesn't receive enough food or liquids, they can become severely dehydrated and malnourished, which can place added stress on the heart, kidneys, and other bodily systems. For someone who is already ill or frail, this can have severe and even life-threatening consequences. In addition, not having access to water and food can strip a loved one of the basic dignity that everyone deserves.
Dehydration can occur for many reasons in a nursing home or caregiving environment:
- Liquids or food may be withheld as a form of punishment or abuse
- Elderly persons with mobility problems may not be provided with liquids or food in an easy to access manner or may not get the support they need to eat or drink enough
- Those who have severe impairments may not be provided with an IV, medication attention, or alternate means of securing hydration and nutrients
- Water and food may be stored in inaccessible places, where residents cannot easily secure drink or food when they need it
- Food may be prepared so it is low in nutritionals value or so unappetizing that it does not appeal to residents or help them stay healthy
- In the high South Florida heat, nursing homes may not offer extra hydration as needed or may fail to keep a residence cool enough, which can impact hydration and appetite
- Medications may not be adjusted or monitored correctly, meaning residents experience loss of appetite or dehydration as a side effect
Water and food are necessities and should be easily and readily available to everyone. With senior citizens, extra care must be taken to provide adequate hydration, especially during hot southern Florida Summers. If a senior has mobility problems, they may need to have someone drop by their room several times a day in order to provide water and snacks. Water and snacks may need to be placed on a nightstand or in common rooms to encourage consumption. If someone cannot consume enough water or food through drinking and eating, they may require IV drip or other solutions to ensure they stay adequately hydrated and nourished. Input from a medical professional should be sought immediately to ensure an elderly loved one gets adequate hydration and nutrients.
If you notice someone is lethargic, losing weight, or shows other signs of dehydration and malnourishment, you need to act quickly. Always insist on a full investigation into any suspicion surrounding neglect or elder abuse.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility in Hollywood, Homestead, Miami, or surround southern Florida communities and they have been severely injured by dehydration or malnutrition, do not hesitate to contact Flaxman Law Group online or at 866-352-9626 for a free consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney in Hollywood. Our attorneys can advise you on your rights and can help you determine what steps you can take to protect your loved one.