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Seniors at risk of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes

When choosing the right nursing home or assisted-living center for their aging relatives, most South Florida area residents do not realize abuse and neglect can occur. Though they might utilize stringent criteria to ensure they choose facilities that pose the least likelihood of harm to their loved ones, adult children should still learn what risk factors of abuse and neglect to watch for.

There are many kinds of abuse and neglect that nursing home and assisted-living residents may encounter that can cause them severe as well as life-threatening injuries and, in extreme cases, death. Here is a brief overview of dehydration, malnutrition and nursing home and assisted-living facilities.

Malnutrition and dehydration can have devastating effects on seniors

Dehydration and malnutrition are not exclusive to nursing homes and assisted-living centers. Anyone who has poor health or nutrition, dental problems and other issues can end up suffering from dehydration and malnutrition. However, seniors who live in communities where they must rely on staff to keep them healthy and maintain their standard of living are at the highest risk of malnutrition and dehydration.

The link between negligence and dehydration and malnutrition

When residents do not receive appropriate care and supervision, they can suffer many types of injuries and health complications that compromise their standard of living and longevity. Nursing homes and assisted-living centers must provide residents with food, water, liquids and any other dietary and medically necessities. They must also observe their residents for signs of issues that can compromise their health, like dehydration and malnutrition to ensure proper treatment.

Common reasons nursing homes and assisted-living centers put their residents at risk of suffering from malnutrition and dehydration include:

  • Poorly-trained staff
  • Understaffing
  • High turnover
  • High patient loads
  • Employee burnout
  • Failure to identify at-risk residents
  • Not properly monitoring resident health
  • Not attending to residents needs on time

There are many other factors to consider as well. Dehydration and malnutrition are dangerous and can cause irreparable harm to seniors. Family members should visit regularly and remain vigilant when assessing their relatives’ health and well-being. If they suspect their loved one is experiencing symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition, they should report their suspicions and get medical help. They should also get legal guidance to learn how they can hold their loved one’s nursing home or assisted-living facility accountable.

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