Many people who are in nursing homes need around-the-clock care and monitoring. They may struggle to eat or drink normally, requiring assistance at mealtimes or throughout the day.
The staff of a nursing home should be aware of these issues and be able to support your loved one during this stage in their life. Unfortunately, many nursing homes aren’t able to provide the full level of attention that they should.
When your loved one isn’t drinking or eating enough, malnutrition and dehydration can become real problems. In a worst-case scenario, a person can die from either. That’s what virtually all nursing homes are meant to have regular meal times and schedules that residents follow. If a resident cannot make it to the dining hall, they should be served in their rooms. They should also be given access to water and other kinds of drinks throughout the day so that they can remain hydrated.
As people age, they may need more support getting the nutrition and hydration that they need. In some cases, intravenous injections may be needed to help prevent severe dehydration, and nutritional supplements may be necessary as well. This is something that a nursing home staff member should know how to administer. They should also know when a person is likely to require these services.
If your loved one shows signs of malnutrition, dehydration or other preventable illnesses in a nursing home, you may want to speak with the nursing home director, the nursing staff and your loved one’s medical provider. They shouldn’t have to suffer this way when there are options to get help through medical interventions.