Have You Seen Evidence of Dehydration or Malnutrition in Your Loved One in the Nursing Home?
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If your loved one is in a nursing home, you need to be aware of the early signs of dehydration and malnutrition. Sadly, these both are common in nursing homes. If you see any of these signs of malnutrition and dehydration, get help immediately:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dry skin
- Sunken eyes
- Confusion and disorientation
- Sores in the mouth
- Cracks around the lips
- Hair and skin changes
- Listlessness and apathy
Nursing Home Patients are Prone to Dehydration and Malnutrition
The elderly are prone to dehydration and malnutrition because they often have poor appetites and other medical problems that block the absorption of nutrients. A poor appetite is caused by a loss of taste, medications, and difficulty chewing. In addition, certain medical conditions and medications require increased nutrients. With proper care and supervision, nursing home patients, can get the nutrients and liquid intake they need.
However, nursing homes are often severely understaffed. Caretakers and nursing staff are rushed and pushed to take care of more and more patients with less and less time. It takes a long time to feed someone who can’t feed herself. Full trays at bedside, for hours after serving, have been repeatedly observed. The staff just can’t take the time to sit and feed nursing home patients who need help because the nursing home doesn’t hire enough help.
All Nursing Home Residents Need Supervision and Care
Liquid nutrients and assistance eating may be necessary for a nursing home patient to receive the nutrients and liquids she needs. If such care is not provided, malnutrition and dehydration may result. The two are often paired. Both serious injury and death can be a result of malnutrition and dehydration. These injuries include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Urinary tract infections
- Fractured hips from falls
- Fractured bones from falls