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Malnutrition and Dehydration

When an elder is malnourished or dehydrated while residing in a nursing home, it may be enough to warrant neglect on the part of the facility. If you believe your loved one has been neglected, please call a Tennessee nursing home neglect lawyer from The Higgins Firm now.

The Duty of a Nursing Home

Every nursing home has a duty to provide essential services to the residents living at the facilities. Sadly, a large number of them fail to do so for a number of reasons, including, improperly trained staff or understaffing. When it comes to neglect in a nursing home, the most common, yet overlooked, cases involve malnutrition or dehydration.

When a resident is not being fed on time, or with food that is not healthy, or is otherwise not being hydrated with enough liquids, they could face serious harm. If your loved one has been injured or died, and you believe malnourishment or dehydration has something to do with it, please call a nursing home neglect lawyer in Tennessee. At The Higgins Firm, we will listen to what you have to say and help you to make a sound decision on the next step you should take. Please do not delay in reaching out to our firm.

Understanding Malnutrition and Dehydration in a Nursing Home

Malnutrition can take many forms. It goes beyond a resident not being fed, and can also include a failure to ensure the resident is getting enough minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients. In general malnourished nursing home patients are those who cannot feed themselves. Malnourishment could result from various factors, including:

  • The facility fails to make sure the patient is eating the right portion
  • The patient has dental problems or a lack of appetite which makes eating a full portion difficult
  • The resident struggles to swallow food
  • The elder is taking medications which make them not want to eat
  • The nursing home is understaffed resulting in missed meals

Dehydration in a nursing home can result when the elder is not being given enough fluids. This tends to occur in patients who cannot walk or get to an area that offers liquids. The most common reasons for dehydration in a nursing home to occur, includes:

  • The elder is taking medications which cause a loss of fluids
  • The resident does not feel thirsty; therefore, does not drink enough liquids
  • The nursing home is understaffed and not paying attention to the resident’s intake of liquids
  • The elder is ill and is not being treated for symptoms that can result in dehydration (i.e. fever, vomiting, diarrhea)

Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration in a Nursing Home

When a resident of a nursing home is malnourished or dehydrated, their immune system can weaken; thereby resulting in bed sores, infections, and cognitive problems. If these are not treated, the symptoms can become life threatening. As a family member of a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration; these include:

  • Loss of appetite or thirst
  • Constant thirst
  • Very dry skin
  • Dark, odorous urine
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Slowed breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Lack of energy
  • Decaying teeth
  • Brittle nails
  • Loss of hair
  • Weakened bones or muscles
  • Bloating
  • Confusion

How a Tennessee Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Can Help You

If you believe your elderly loved one, or someone you know, has been injured or died while residing in a nursing home, and you think malnutrition or dehydration could be the cause, you should notify the nursing home of your concern. If you believe they did not take you seriously, or you believe the situation is being covered up, please consult a nursing home lawyer in Tennessee.

Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.

What Our Clients Say
When my mother was neglected in a nursing home I was referred to The Higgins Firm for help. They did a great job representing my family and obtained a significant settlement. Hopefully, this will keep someone else's parent from being mistreated in the future. Angie S.
I have a large collection practice and don't handle personal injury cases. Instead of simply declining a case, I referred it to The Higgins Firm. They handled everything. My client got a large recovery and I got a large co-counsel fee. The client and I were both very happy. Attorney Bo Melton
The best injury lawyers in Nashville. They represented my son in a car accident case and did an awesome job. James D.