Dehydration

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Typically, dehydration occurs when the body is losing more fluids than the body is taking in. It may seem that staying hydrated should be fairly easy in a nursing home, but dehydration is one of the most common diagnoses when a nursing home patient is admitted to the hospital. Many times dehydration can be a result of a certain medication, or diarrhea, or a refusal to eat and drink. Given the latter of the three, it is the job of nursing home staff to monitor even more closely the fluid consumption of the patients. Neglect in care is absolutely elder abuse. If you fear that your loved one is being abused, it is essential that you contact an attorney that specializes in elder abuse.

Signs of Dehydration
Dehydration can be difficult to diagnose. However, if you are suspicious, look out for a few of the following signs: dry mouth, gray skin, dark urine, confusion, fever, delirium, infection, and low urine output. Also look for signs of sunken eyes, dizziness, fever, increased heart rate, and irritability. Some of these signs may seem like natural side effects of either aging or the medications that are being taken. However, they may in fact be the early signals of potentially debilitating medical complications. Early detection can save an elderly person from serious consequences caused by dehydration. Monitor closely your loved ones living in nursing homes to ensure their health.

Complications of Dehydration
While the symptoms of dehydration are scary enough, the complications that can arise if dehydration goes undiagnosed are very serious. Kidney failure is one side effect of a lack of fluids. Although it is reversible, anytime an organ fails due to a decreased blood flow, the risks are serious. The decreased blood flow, if directed at the brain, can also trigger a coma, which has the potential to be fatal. Anytime fluid is lost, the body can become overwhelmed and in order to compensate, the blood pressure would drop and shock can occur. In addition, heat stroke and heat exhaustion can occur, because the body doesn\'t have enough fluid to produce sweat. These grave complications may become reality for elderly people who have a lack of fluid in their bodies. If your loved one is suffering from dehydration due to neglect at an assisted living home, you must contact an attorney to protect their rights before one of these possibilities becomes a reality.

Legalities
Dehydration, unlike many adverse effects of aging, is completely avoidable. No nursing home resident should have to suffer unnecessarily, especially when you are placing your trust in their caregivers. Most lawyers will want to consider a few characteristics of the situation in order to determine the if neglect is truly the catalyst.
1)Is your loved one over the age of 85 years?
2)What complications have they experienced that make you believe that dehydration and neglect are to blame?
3)Are there any physical limitations that would hinder your loved from consuming enough liquids? (Nonetheless, the assisted living staff should be able to provide the amount of care promised)
4)Are there any medications that make your loved one prone to dehydration? (Again, staff should monitor the medication and the side effects that are caused by them)

Don\'t let a lack of staffing, or poor medical knowledge, affect the health of your loved ones. The aging process is challenging for all members of the family, and making the choice to place loved ones in an assisting living home can be difficult. Dehydration is preventable, and no one should suffer from a lack of fluid consumption. If you suspect dehydration was caused by neglect and elder abuse there is no time to waste. Contact an attorney that specializes in elder abuse immediately.

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