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Long Beach Nursing Home Attorneys Handling Malnutrition & Dehydration
Skilled advocacy when a senior suffers nursing home abuse or neglect in California
Malnutrition and dehydration are two of the most common problems in nursing homes. They can have a serious impact on the health and well-being of residents, and they can even be life-threatening.
Malnutrition and dehydration are serious issues that affect many elderly residents in nursing homes, compromising their health, well-being, and dignity. At Garcia & Artigliere, our California nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of vulnerable seniors and their families. If your loved one has suffered from malnutrition or dehydration due to neglectful care in a nursing home, we are here to fight for justice on their behalf. We have 30 years of experience and $3 billion recovered for people across the country – let us be your voice.
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How can we help?
- What is dehydration?
- What are the dangers of dehydration in the elderly?
- What are the signs of dehydration?
- How is dehydration treated?
- What is malnutrition?
- What are the dangers of malnutrition in the elderly?
- What are the signs of malnutrition?
- How is malnutrition treated?
- Do you have an attorney who handles nursing home neglect near me?
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition in which the body does not have enough fluids. This can happen for a number of reasons, including diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive sweating. Dehydration can lead to several health problems, including dizziness, confusion, and even seizures. It can also be life-threatening.
What are the dangers of dehydration in the elderly?
The National Institute of Health reports:
Older adults are considered at risk for chronic dehydration due to their reduced sensitivity to thirst, lower urine concentrating ability, and lower fluid intake compared with young or middle-aged adults. Furthermore, older nursing home residents may be at high risk for chronic dehydration because lower fluid intake is commonly observed in nursing home residents.
Dehydration in the elderly can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences due to their increased vulnerability. As people age, their bodies may become less efficient in regulating fluid balance, making them more susceptible to dehydration. Some of the dangers of dehydration in the elderly include:
- Impaired cognitive function. Dehydration can affect cognitive abilities, leading to confusion, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and an overall decline in mental clarity.
- Increased risk of falls. Dehydrated elderly individuals may experience dizziness, weakness, and low blood pressure, increasing their risk of falls and related injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, or open wounds.
- Kidney problems. Dehydration puts a strain on the kidneys, making it harder for them to filter waste products and toxins from the body. This can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, or even kidney failure in severe cases.
- Worsening chronic conditions. Dehydration can exacerbate existing health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and respiratory issues, potentially leading to medical emergencies.
- Constipation and digestive issues. Insufficient fluid intake can lead to constipation and digestive problems, causing discomfort and impacting overall bowel health.
- Skin problems. Dehydrated skin becomes dry, fragile, and more prone to infections and pressure ulcers (bedsores).
- Reduced immune function. Dehydration weakens the immune system, making the elderly more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
- Electrolyte imbalances. Dehydration can disrupt the balance of electrolytes in the body, leading to potentially serious complications such as muscle cramps, seizures, or abnormal heart rhythms.
- Increased hospitalizations. Dehydration-related issues often require medical attention and hospitalization, adding to the physical and emotional burden on the individual and their family.
- Risk of death. In severe cases, untreated dehydration can lead to life-threatening conditions such as heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Because the elderly are more prone to dehydration than others, you should be aware of the signs and symptoms, which include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dark yellow, strong-smelling urine
- Urinating less often than usual
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling fatigued
- Dry mouth, lips, and tongue
- Sunken eyes
How is dehydration treated?
If you or a loved one are experiencing any symptoms of dehydration, such as thirst, dry mouth, fatigue, or dizziness, it is important to see a doctor. The sooner you are treated, the better the chances of preventing serious complications.
Here are some of the ways that dehydration can be treated:
- Oral rehydration salts. These are salts that can be dissolved in water and drunk to help replace fluids and electrolytes.
- Intravenous fluids. These are fluids that are given through a needle into a vein. They are used to treat more severe cases of dehydration.
- Medications. Some medications can help to reduce fluid loss.
The treatment for dehydration will vary depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, oral rehydration salts may be enough. In more severe cases, intravenous fluids may be needed. Medications may also be used to reduce fluid loss.
What is malnutrition?
Malnutrition is a condition in which the body does not get enough nutrients. This can happen for several reasons, including poor appetite, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and inadequate food intake. Malnutrition can lead to several health problems, including weight loss, fatigue, and weakness. It can also make it more difficult for residents to heal from injuries or infections.
What are the dangers of malnutrition in the elderly?
The Administration for Community Living estimated back in 2016 that nearly 50% of older Americans are malnourished. They note “approximately 30 percent of older people admitted to the hospital arrive malnourished and being malnourished while in the hospital will generally increase the length of stay.”
Malnutrition is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of older adults. It can lead to several health problems, including:
- Weight loss. Malnutrition can lead to weight loss, which can make it difficult for older adults to maintain their strength and energy levels.
- Weakness. Malnutrition can lead to weakness, which can make it difficult for older adults to perform everyday activities.
- Fatigue. Malnutrition can lead to fatigue, which can make it difficult for older adults to participate in activities they enjoy.
- Infections. Malnutrition can make older adults more susceptible to infections.
- Slow wound healing. Malnutrition can slow down the healing process, which can make it difficult for older adults to recover from injuries.
- Depression. Malnutrition can contribute to depression, which can further impact the health and well-being of older adults.
In some cases, malnutrition can be life-threatening.
What are the signs of malnutrition?
The signs of malnutrition can vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual's overall health. Malnutrition occurs when the body does not receive enough essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support proper growth and function. Some common signs of malnutrition include:
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Changes in skin and hair
- Poor wound healing
- Muscle wasting
- Frequent illnesses
- Dental problems
- Changes in mood and mental health
- Swollen or puffy face
- Brittle bones
It is important to note that some of these signs can also be caused by other health conditions, so a comprehensive assessment by a healthcare professional is necessary to confirm the presence of malnutrition. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing malnutrition, seek medical attention to address the underlying causes and develop a suitable nutritional plan. If you believe malnutrition is being caused by nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the Long Beach attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere for knowledgeable assistance.
How is malnutrition treated?
The treatment for malnutrition depends on the severity of the condition. Mild malnutrition can usually be treated by making changes to the diet and lifestyle. Moderate malnutrition may require oral supplements or tube feeding. Severe malnutrition may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
Here are some of the ways that malnutrition can be treated:
- Nutritional counseling. A registered dietitian can help to create a personalized plan to improve the diet and nutritional status of the individual.
- Oral supplements. Oral supplements can be used to provide extra nutrients to people who are not getting enough from their diet.
- Tube feeding. Tube feeding is a procedure in which a tube is inserted into the stomach or small intestine to deliver food and fluids directly to the body.
- Intravenous fluids. Intravenous fluids are fluids that are given through a needle into a vein. They are used to treat more severe cases of malnutrition.
The treatment for malnutrition will vary depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, nutritional counseling may be enough. In more severe cases, oral supplements, tube feeding, or intravenous fluids may be needed.
Do you have an attorney who handles nursing home neglect near me?
Garcia & Artigliere has offices at 180 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1100, Long Beach, CA 90802.
California nursing home neglect attorneys handling malnutrition and dehydration claims
If you or a loved one are experiencing the signs of malnutrition and dehydration, don't wait to seek help. At Garcia & Artigliere, our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers understand the devastating impact of dehydration and malnutrition on your health and well-being. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to fight for your rights and hold negligent parties accountable. Call our Long Beach offices or fill out our contact form today.
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