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Signs Of Malnutrition And Dehydration

Ensuring proper nutrition and hydration is an essential duty for nursing homes. Many nursing home residents are unable to attend to their own needs and may lack awareness or be unable to communicate that they are hungry or thirsty. Nursing home owners and operators need to put plans in place to ensure that their patients are receiving the food and water that they need.

Poor hydration and nutrition can lead to a variety of health problems, including:

  • Skin breakdown
  • Infections
  • Altered mental status
  • Significant weight loss
  • Organ failure

Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration: What You Should Look For

  1. Dry mouth, tongue and lips
  2. Facial drooping
  3. Confusion
  4. Fatigue
  5. Recurrent infections
  6. Bad breath
  7. Resident complaints of headache
  8. Resident complaints of thirst
  9. Decreased urine output

Dehydration and malnutrition are commonly diagnosed by laboratory test results for sodium, potassium and blood levels (hydration status) and protein levels (malnutrition). While dehydration and malnutrition can be diagnosed only by a physician or nurse practitioner, nursing home staff should be trained to recognize the signs and symptoms.

Action Plan

  1. Watch for signs and symptoms of dehydration.
  2. Watch for signs and symptoms of malnutrition.
  3. Report signs of dehydration or malnutrition to nursing home staff and, if possible, to your loved one’s primary care physician.
  4. Encourage your loved one to consume more fluids and food (but watch for fluid restrictions ordered by the physician).
  5. Make sure any food or beverages you give your loved one are appropriate for their condition and that they are the proper consistency.
  6. Do your own “charting” by documenting intake and what you observe or hear*
  7. Call us if your loved one has suffered injury as a result of dehydration or malnutrition.

Building an effective case against a nursing home that has failed to provide proper nutrition and hydration requires knowing what should have been done and what was actually done in terms of fluid and food intake.

Attorneys Dedicated To Helping You Protect Senior Citizens

At Konicek & Dillon, P.C., we have been helping people hold nursing home owners and operators accountable for decades. We understand the issues that go into building a strong nursing home abuse or neglect case. Our attorneys and consultants can clearly identify what an appropriate course of action regarding nutrition and hydration should have looked like for your loved one as well as persuasively illustrate to a jury how your senior loved one was harmed by the actions of the nursing home.

*Always document truthfully and accurately. Always save and protect your documentation from damage or destruction, backing it up if possible. If you lose documentation, notes or pictures, it can be detrimental to your case.

Contact The Geneva Nursing Home Malnutrition/Dehydration Lawyers of Konicek & Dillon, P.C.

If a senior loved one became dehydrated and/or malnourished in a nursing home, our skilled attorneys can help you create accountability and protect your loved one from further harm. We understand what is at stake, and we know how to take immediate action that will protect your loved one’s rights. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our Geneva nursing home negligence attorneys, call 630-313-2071; in Chicago, call 630-313-2071. You can also contact us online.