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Dehydration in Nursing Homes
All Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Philadelphia nursing homes are required, under state and federal law, to provide their residents sufficient liquids to prevent dehydration. Unfortunately, these laws are not always abided by and too often Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home residents are denied this basic necessity and suffer dehydration. When this happens, the nursing home is responsible for causing dehydration.
Dehydration is Nursing Home Neglect
When dehydration is otherwise preventable and still occurs, it is a form of nursing home neglect. Dehydration is the direct result of a significant deprivation of liquid intake. If ignored or not properly attended to, dehydration can become a very serious threat to a nursing home resident’s medical condition and, in extreme cases, can contribute to a resident’s death.
It is important, especially with the elderly, to maintain proper levels of fluid in the body. A ten (10) percent reduction of fluids in an elderly person can pose a serious risk of harm. A twenty (20) percent reduction of fluids may lead to death.
It does not take much for an elderly nursing home resident to become dehydrated. Relatively short periods of time without water, warm environments, or increases in body temperature can all lead to dehydration. Accordingly, nursing home care providers are responsible for monitoring hydration levels closely. They are charged with the duty of making certain that all nursing home residents are receiving proper fluid intake.
If you have reason to believe your loved one has suffered dehydration at their Philadelphia / PA or NJ nursing home, contact nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy. Mr. Murphy has handled a litany of dehydration cases that resulted from nursing home neglect. Mr. Murphy is an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney serving Philadelphia / Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mr. Murphy has the experience and resources to provide you top-tier legal representation. Contact Mr. Murphy today to discuss your case and he will offer you a free one-on-one consultation to help you determine if your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Signs of Dehydration in Nursing Homes
Below are some common signs of dehydration to look out for with your nursing home resident. If your loved one has suffered from any of these symptoms, he or she may be suffering from dehydration. Contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to get your questions answered. Signs of dehydration commonly include:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Extreme thirst
- Loss of appetite
- Dry lips
- Darkened urine
- Feeling light-headed
- Labored breathing
Why Dehydration Occurs at Pennsylvania and New Jersey Nursing Homes
Dehydration of nursing home residents should not happen; however, poorly trained staff and/or a reduction in the number of staff at a nursing home can lead to a resident becoming dehydrated. Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing home staff members have the duty of to prevent residents from becoming dehydrated. This requires attentive care. Unfortunately, some Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing homes intentionally operate with low number of nurses and nurse aides to keep their costs down. This results in an overall reduction in the quality of care the nursing home can provide. Some Philadelphia / PA and NJ nursing homes also fail to properly train their care providers on how to prevent residents from becoming dehydrated. Below are some actions nursing home staff members should be taking to prevent dehydration. If these preventative measures are not taken, your loved one may have been subjected to nursing home neglect.
- Continuously provide residents with adequate amounts of fluids;
- Provide supervision of liquid intake during meal and snack times;
- Make sure all liquids are being consumed;
- Educate nursing home staff on hydration methods;
- Monitor and track at-risk residents ability to swallow and consume liquids;
- Monitor medications that may increase the likelihood of dehydration;
- Monitor a resident’s mood to ensure depression is not impacting liquid consumption
- Record the resident’s liquid consumption.
- Provide sufficient number of staff to properly hydrate and monitor residents;
- Continuously attend to residents who need assistance drinking;
- Remain on watch for any signs of dehydration;
- Encourage fluid intake during and in between meal times;
- Notify a physician if a resident appears dehydrated;
- Make certain resident’s IV fluid is timely replaced;
- Measure, record, and track the resident’s water consumption.
You Need a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
If you have reason to believe your family member has suffered from dehydration you need to understand your rights. Pennsylvania and New Jersey laws only permit you a limited amount of time to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. You need to call Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home abuse attorney, Brian P. Murphy. Mr. Murphy will provide you with a free one-on-one consultation and explain to you your rights and how you will need to move forward.
All nursing home legal matters are billed on a contingency fee basis. All Philadelphia / Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing home abuse cases are personally handled by Brian Murphy.
Read the testimonial page and learn about Mr. Murphy’s former clients’ experiences with him.
* Nothing on this website is to be construed as attorney advice or otherwise creating an attorney-client relationship.