Nursing home residents rely on the staff to ensure their needs are met. From administering the correct medication at the right time to aiding in mobility to prevent bedsores, a nursing home staff must be vigilant in protecting the health and well being of elderly patients. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for abuse, neglect or inattention to lead to serious conditions, unnecessary pain and even fatality.
Many factors can contribute to patients not receiving adequate food and water, including:
- Inadequate attention
- Lack of individualized care
- Poor staffing levels
- Poorly trained staff
- Abuse or punishment by the staff
Unfortunately, not every case follows the same patterns. Different patients might react differently to the lack of proper hydration and nutrition. There are some common symptoms, however, that you should remain aware of when visiting your elderly loved ones, including:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dry, cracked lips
- Difficulty speaking due to a dry mouth
- Infrequent urination
- Dark yellow urine
- Wounds take longer to heal
- Appear weak or disoriented
- Loose, dry skin or skin that is warm to the touch
Symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition are not always the result of a negligent or abusive nursing home staff. Patients might be suffering from medication side effects or depression. It is wise, however, to explore these possibilities. If there is a chance that your elderly loved one is suffering in the care of a nursing home staff, it is crucial that you take steps to uncover the problem and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
It is imperative that you discuss your concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney with extensive experience in nursing home neglect and abuse cases.