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Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration Abuse in Nursing Homes

Close up of an elderly woman's folded hands

Malnutrition and dehydration are common problems in nursing homes across Alabama

Dehydration is among the top 5 preventable disorders that kill people in nursing homes and extended care facilities, according to the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

However, the problem is likely larger than the numbers demonstrate. Cases of nursing home malnutrition and dehydration are often unreported or undiagnosed. Malnutrition and dehydration can have serious consequences for nursing home residents, including weakened immune systems, increased risk of infection, and impaired cognitive function.

Don't stay silent if you suspect neglect

While nursing home malnutrition and dehydration can be difficult to identify from the outside, these are often forms of serious nursing home neglect. That's why knowing the signs of malnutrition and dehydration can help you better detect neglect and seek legal assistance from an Alabama nursing home abuse attorney.

If you suspect that your loved one is regularly dehydrated or malnourished in an Alabama nursing home, contact us for a free case evaluation. A member of our team will listen to the details of what's happening and explain your potential options.

Signs of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home patients

Many nursing home residents are at risk of becoming malnourished or dehydrated. For example, up to 60 percent of nursing home residents are at risk for malnutrition, according to a report by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Some signs that your loved one may be malnourished or dehydrated include:

  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Poor wound healing. Malnutrition and dehydration can delay wound healing and increase the risk of infection.
  • Constipation or digestive problems. When people aren't properly hydrated and fed, it may hurt their digestive system. This can cause problems such as constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Dry mouth or lips.
  • Reduced urine output or dark urine.
  • Confusion or disorientation. Lack of fluids can cause confusion, disorientation, and even delirium.
  • Depression or apathy. Without proper food and water, people can become depressed and /or apathetic.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to speak with the nursing home staff and seek medical attention for your loved one. Then call us. Your loved one deserves the best possible care, and we're here to help ensure that they receive it.

Nursing home excuses

There is never a good reason for a nursing home resident or patient to be dehydrated or malnourished. However, some of the common causes include:

  • Lack of staff. Inadequate staffing or training of staff.
  • Low-quality or dangerous food. Poor food quality or limited access to food and water.
  • No assistance for those who need it. Lack of care for adults with physical or cognitive impairments makes it difficult for them to feed themselves.
  • No dietary accommodations. A patient's diet was not recalibrated to account for medications and medical conditions that decrease appetite or increase fluid loss.

Your loved one is the top priority

At Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC, our dedicated legal team can help you take action to protect your loved one's health and well-being, hold the nursing home accountable for its actions, and seek compensation for your damages.

Your loved one deserves justice, and we're here to help ensure that they receive it. Contact us now to schedule a consultation and get started on your case. Based in Birmingham, we represent families statewide.

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