When people think of neglect or nursing home abuse, rarely do they think of dehydration. However, the effects of it can be devastating if not handled in an appropriate and timely manner.
Dehydration is the word used to describe the condition where an excessive amount of water is removed from the body without being replaced. It tends to occur when people are not drinking enough water, particularly if the person has been sweating, vomiting, or urinating a significant amount. Dehydration can be treated with fluids administered orally or through an IV if caught in a timely manner. If the condition is caught too late or never caught at all, the consequences could be severe.
Dehydration is common in elderly patients, particularly if they are living in a busy nursing home. Many things attribute to this. Most elderly patients are on medicines that may cause dehydration if not properly handled. The elderly also tend to feel the sensation of thirst less than those younger than them. The risk of dehydration becomes prevalent if nursing home staff is not diligent in providing water to the patients and ensuring the water is consumed in an appropriate amount.
As mentioned before, if not handled in a timely manner, dehydration in elderly patients can be devastating. So what signs should you look for when you visit your loved one in a nursing home?
Drop in Blood Pressure
Most nursing homes will actively monitor a person’s blood pressure. If the blood pressure begins to drop or if the patient begins to show symptoms of low blood pressure, this could point toward potential dehydration.
Many patients tend to get confused or disoriented as a symptom of dehydration. While this symptom can be connected to many complications, dehydration should be considered and treated.
Once again, exhaustion can be connected to many issues, but paired with other symptoms, one should consider dehydration as a potential issue if a loved one is feeling overly exhausted compared to usual.
Skin with No Resistance
One of the most common ways to detect dehydration in elderly patients is by testing the skin. Gently pull the skin back on the patient’s hand, hold it there for a couple of seconds, and then let it go. If the skin does not bounce back to its usual placement in the next few seconds, this could be a pretty obvious indicator that the personal is dehydrated, and should seek treatment.
Trouble Producing Water
If a patient is dehydrated, her body will likely struggle to produce water in many different normal functions. If your loved one is crying without tears or having trouble urinating, there is a chance that they could be suffering from dehydration.
Help from an Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Dehydration is a devastating problem to have because of how preventable it should be. With the high risks of it, most nursing homes are on high alert to seek out symptoms early and ensure patients are drinking enough water in the first place. If your loved one suffered severe symptoms because of dehydration while under the care and neglect of a nursing home, you could be entitled to compensation. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online.