What is Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when one’s body does not have enough water and fluids. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Diarrhea and vomiting are two of the most common causes. Dehydration has become a huge problem in nursing homes, due to the high susceptibility and comorbidity of the elderly.
Physiologic changes related to aging make an elderly adult more prone to dehydration. The elderly have 1/10 less body fluid than a younger adult. The sense of taste diminishes with age and food may become unappetizing. Consequently, the elderly may eat less and use more salt, raising the body’s need for water. At the same time, however, their thirst response may diminish and they may not recognize the need to drink more. For these reasons, an elderly adult may become severely dehydrated very quickly before they feel thirsty or anyone notices symptoms.
Symptoms of dehydration in the elderly may and usually are different than that in younger adults and Children. Medications that the elderly take are much more likely to lead to dehydration. One particular symptom of dehydration that is most often seen in the elderly is poor skin elasticity. When the skin is pinched, it holds its form rather than returning to its normal shape.
Dehydration when serious may cause death or other very serious illnesses. It is very important that all elders and loved ones are watched very closely when they are residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, so that they do not have dehydration problems which may lead to serious personal injury.
How Peck Law Can Help
If someone you know in a care facility appears to be dehydrated, report it immediately to their caretaking agency/facility, and document any such conversation with that agency/facility. Contact Peck Law Group with concerns, questions and for more information about action you can take.
Peck Law Group offices are located in Van Nuys and Pleasant Hill, California. Our attorneys serve clients in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Riverside, Ontario, San Bernardino, San Diego, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and all other regions of California. How can we help you? Call toll free at (866) 999-9085 to contact us today for a free consultation.