Malnutrition in Nursing Home or Assisted Living Residents
A study by the Commonwealth Foundation found that between 35 and 85 percent of U.S. nursing home residents are malnourished. At least a third of the nursing home residents in the United States and considerably more according to some studies, may suffer from malnutrition or dehydration, conditions that cause more medical problems or worsen existing ones. Malnourished people are subject to infections, failure of wounds to heal, increased likelihood of bone fractures, especially deadly hip fractures, anemia, and decreased immune function. Phoenix elderly abuse attorneys Wattel and York are committed to stopping this abuse.
Some symptoms of malnutrition include
- Decreased muscle mass and weakness
- Dry, scaly skin
- Brittle and malformed nails
- Chronic diarrhea
- Slow wound healing
- Bone and joint pain
- Mental changes, such as confusion and irritation
Dehydration is a common problem in care facilities for the elderly
Older people may be more prone to dehydration than younger ones, and staff members need to be aware of this. Illnesses, such as fever, infections, or diarrhea can cause fluid loss, as can some medications, such as diuretics. Also, with age, the kidneys lose the ability to concentrate urine. Older people may not feel thirsty as they once did. Those who are not capable of feeding themselves and those who have lost mobility or suffer cognitive impairments are especially at risk.
Health consequences of dehydration in the elderly
Elderly people who have not had enough fluids are more susceptible to urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bed sores, and mental impairment. They may feel confused or disoriented, or depressed. Electrolyte imbalances can result, such as hypernatremia and hyperkalemia, which can be life-threatening.
Some signs of dehydration include
- Dry skin
- Insufficient sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Low blood pressure
- Confusion or irritability
Providing adequate nutrition and hydration is the most fundamental requirement of care, which residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities should expect as a basic human right.
Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers Wattel and York assist the elderly
Anyone who knows of an elderly person who is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration in a care setting in Phoenix should notify Senior Protective Services and the patient’s family. A nursing home abuse attorney in Phoenix can help the elderly person bring a claim for damages against the facility to help compensate for the damage to his or her health and well-being.
The law firm of Wattel and York has been successful in helping the elderly community in Phoenix, Arizona, recover damages from nursing home neglect and abuse for years. For a free consultation and case evaluation, call the nursing home abuse attorneys Wattel and York today. If you are unable to come to the office, we will be happy to come to you.