Florida Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration

January 11, 2019 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Florida Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration

Nursing Home Residents Suffer Malnutritionutrition Neglect

Caring for the elderly residents of a nursing home or similar care facility is a surprisingly complex undertaking. The responsibility that is placed in the hands of the staff of nursing homes is massive since many of the residents they're taking care of are especially vulnerable. The elderly that make up the resident population of nursing homes can have pre-existing medical conditions that leave them bedridden, with limited mobility, fragile bodies, weakened immune systems, and lastly, a need for special attention to their diet that may require a specific nutritional makeup. These dietary needs of nursing home residents may not always be observed and as a result, nursing home residents can suffer from malnutrition and dehydration. It is the duty of a caregiver like a nursing home to recognize that residents need to not only have the right amount of food but also that their meals should provide for the nutritional needs of residents.

What Causes Malnutrition and Dehydration?

When most people think of malnutrition they confuse it with simply not getting enough food. While not getting enough food can be a part of malnutrition it is much more complex than simply not eating enough. The residents of a nursing home can be getting three large meals a day and still be suffering from malnutrition. The concern should be more over what they are eating rather than how much. The elderly need the appropriate portions of different minerals, vitamins, and nutrients across food groups more than anyone else. Sometimes a nursing home may provide a good amount of food but fail to provide a varied menu of meals that ensure that residents receive the nutrients they need. Each resident may have different nutritional needs as well to compensate for deficiencies caused by health conditions or to help combat symptoms of those conditions.

Dehydration in Nursing Homes

Much like malnutrition, dehydration can also become an issue in nursing homes and other similar elder care facilities. A resident should not only have enough water and fluids but the staff of a nursing home should be able to determine exactly what the needs of specific residents should be when it comes to hydrating. Medical conditions can lead to residents losing water much faster than normal and make them require more water than a normal person.

Understaffing and High Turnover Contribute to Nursing Home Malnutrition

One of the most common factors that affects nursing home abuse and neglect across the board is understaffing. Experienced nursing home staff that have been trained to handle the needs of nursing home residents have grown scarce. Many nursing homes, as a result, have become understaffed with the ratio of patients to caregivers become dangerously disparate. When a nursing home does not have the proper amount of staff to oversee the needs of the residents then the result can be injury due to either neglect or even willful abuse. Ideally, one caregiver would be charged with overseeing the nutrition of 2-3 residents but at times the ratio can be as bad as one caregiver to 10-14 residents. When this happens, some residents may be overlooked when it comes to nutrition and mistakes are made resulting in injury and in the worst cases, death.

Malnutrition and Dehydration Cause Health Complication

The elderly residents of nursing homes and other care facilities need to have their nutrition be a priority of the staff running the facility because an imbalance can be especially harmful to their delicate constitutions. Many of the residents of a nursing home will also have medical conditions they are dealing with that can easily be aggravated by a nutritional imbalance. This aggravation can lead to complications in a host of medical issues that can cause severe injury. Dehydration is also something that can not only aggravate pre-existing medical conditions of nursing home residents but can have serious complications in itself. Dehydration complications include:
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Coma
  • A weak immune system
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Muscle weakness and decreased bone mass, which can lead to falls and fractures
  • Brain swelling

Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Home Residents

  • Reduced appetite
  • Lack of interest in food and drinks
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling weaker or fatigued
  • Getting ill often and taking a long time to recover
  • Wounds taking a long time to heal
  • Poor concentration
  • Feeling especially cold
  • Low mood or depression
  • Sticky or dry mouth
  • Intense thirst
  • Dry papery skin
  • Abnormal urination and bowel movement frequency

Nursing Home Malnutrition and Dehydration Injury Claims

A nursing home resident that suffers abuse and neglect in the form of malnutrition and dehydration will likely sustain extensive damages in the form of medical expenses, disability, or even wrongful death. This kind of negligence is unacceptable and the parties responsible can be held liable in a nursing home injury claim. By taking this legal action those that have been wronged in this way can seek compensation for the damages they sustained.

Seek an Experienced Florida Elder Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to the neglect of an assisted living facility, nursing home, or other similar facilities, then do not hesitate to contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about a free consultation on your possible claim. Our skilled lawyers will sit down with you to lay out your options for legal action and how they can use their expertise to secure you the settlement that you deserve. With the lawyers of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA on your side, you can rest easy knowing that you have a law firm that can back up their claims with a long list of successful cases. Your case will be given the personal attention one would expect from a small firm but will benefit from the resources and reap the results of a large firm. The damages you suffered should not go uncompensated. Consider Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA as your representation in your pursuit to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable for their negligence. For a free consultation on your claim you can contact us online or call (727) 451-6900 Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/nursing-home-abuse-lawyer/florida/


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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