Florida Malnutrition and Dehydration In Nursing Homes in Florida
Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is not usually easy. Finding a home that suits their needs and that holds itself to the highest standards is the next difficult decision. A nursing home is expected to provide services that range from daily care to medical care. When a nursing home is found to be abusing its residents it is devastating. Two of the most common forms of nursing home abuse are dehydration and malnutrition. In the United States, over 14,000 nursing home residents have died from this mistreatment. These are serious claims that deserve to be prosecuted.
Staying properly hydrated becomes more difficult as a person ages. Dehydration is likely to occur from illness, medication side effects, and even from simply decreasing fluid intake. For an elderly person dehydration can also occur from the physiological changes from aging. In a nursing home the residents heavily rely on the caretakers to monitor and assist with their fluid levels and intake. The results from a study done in 1999 showed that out of 40 residents studied; only one was properly hydrated. The lack of proper hydration is often the result of caretakers who either forget to monitor fluids or simply refuse to perform the necessary tasks. This is obvious neglect, when many of the signs of dehydration are easily recognizable; such as thirst, dry skin, and dark urine.
In a nursing home, malnutrition does not usually occur because of lack of food. Malnutrition is most likely to occur because of under-served portions, mishandled food, and when a resident is unable to feed them without assistance. Many times feeding tubes are used when a resident cannot feed themselves. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hundreds of nursing homes are cited every year for improper feeding methods and feeding tube insertion. The effects of malnutrition can be irreversible for the elderly. Signs of malnutrition include weight loss, bloated abdomen, and swollen or bleeding gums. These signs should not ever be missed by nursing home caregivers.
What to do Next
Dehydration and malnutrition are serious illnesses. With the proper monitoring and care from nursing home staff, they should only rarely occur. Those care givers that are neglecting residents should be held accountable. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse seek justice and compensation by speaking to be nursing home abuse lawyer.
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