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Physical issues may stem from neglect, not aging

As your loved one grows older, you naturally expect some physical challenges to become apparent. It's an unfortunate part of the aging process. Physical limitations may even be why you put a mother or father in a nursing home to begin with; you were worried that he or she couldn't safely live alone and needed help with daily tasks.

While more issues certainly can come to light in a nursing home, some experts warn that certain physical issues are also a sign of nursing home neglect. It's important not to assume that aging must be the root cause so that you can identify neglect when it occurs.

For example, both dehydration and malnutrition could play a role. These can cause a person to feel lightheaded, to become nauseated, to feel weak or even to become sick on a consistent basis. The Mayo Clinic warns that dehydration in adults can cause fatigue, confusion, dark-colored urine and dizziness.

This is perhaps more of an issue than you realize. Some research has suggested that one out of every five nursing home residents struggles with malnutrition.

It is worth noting that issues residents have can play into both malnutrition and dehydration. For instance, a person could have trouble swallowing or be battling depression. However, they're also caused by neglect that stems from high nurse turnover rates, inadequate staffing and more.

Do you think that your loved one is being neglected? Perhaps you noticed some of these ailments and you believe it's more than just typical aging. If so, you must know what legal steps you can take, both to protect your loved one and to seek compensation.

Source: Next Avenue, "6 Signs of Nursing Home Neglect," Sarah Blanchard, accessed Feb. 03, 2017

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