Learn the Signs of Dehydration in your Elder Loved One
Studies have found that dehydration was more common among those who came from nursing homes.
In serious cases, dehydration can lead to high levels of sodium in the blood, a condition called hypernatremia that can increase the risk of dying, says Peck Law Group Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse lawyer Steven Peck.
People in nursing homes may be at a greater risk of dehydration, especially if they require assistance and may not drink enough fluids on their own. its is very important that we ensure that the older population are encouraged and supported to drink. Dehydrated patients statistically are more than five times more likely to die in the hospital.
Seniors may avoid drinking because they fear no one will help them get to the bathroom in time, dehydration is a significant problem in nursing home patients all over the world. Vulnerable elders are at risk for dehydration because with aging, the thirst that drives people to drink fluids changes and they’re not as likely to get thirsty as quickly.
Dehydration can happen quickly, especially when people have a fever or diarrhea – and nursing home staff may not always be aware of how high the risk is for some of the most vulnerable seniors.
The Peck Law Group encourages family members to visit their elderly frail relatives at different times of day and make sure water is readily accessible and to constantly remind nursing home staff to encourage the family member patient to drink fluids even though they may not feel thirsty.
Elders are at a higher risk of dehydration in nursing homes, but the risk can also be very high for elderly people who live at home too. We all need to watch very closely the care that our elders are receiving.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.