When you decided to move your elderly parents into a nursing home, you hoped you could trust the staff at the facility to provide adequate care. Still, according to reporting from NPR, nursing homes across the country are experiencing record staffing shortages. This may lead to neglect or even abuse.
If you believe your parents may be victims of nursing home neglect or abuse, you may have little time to intervene. While some signs of abuse and neglect are not so easy to identify, dehydration may be evidence your loved ones are not receiving the care they deserve.
What causes dehydration?
Dehydration naturally occurs when individuals do not consume enough fluids. Nevertheless, certain medical conditions and medications may make a person more vulnerable to dehydration. To keep these individuals safe, nurses at the nursing home should understand their unique hydration needs. They should also provide residents with fluids, perhaps even intravenously when necessary.
How can dehydration indicate abuse?
Dehydration commonly correlates with nursing home neglect, as it usually happens when nurses fail to offer fluids to residents. Sadly, though, dehydration may also indicate abuse. That is, staff at the facility may withhold fluids to punish your parents. For example, if your parents do not like the offered fluids, irritated nurses may decide not to give them other options.
As you may know, dehydration can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a deadly medical emergency. Regularly checking on your parents may allow you to spot dehydration before it is too late.
Ultimately, though, if your parents die or suffer additional injuries because of hydration, you may have grounds to take legal action against the nursing home.