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Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Home Residents


Care providers in nursing homes are hired to meet the needs of their patients. Often, elderly people move in to nursing home facilities because of medical conditions, but there are many residents in nursing homes who are relatively healthy, but require assistance with daily tasks because of their advanced age. Many patients fully rely on nursing home staff to help them fulfill the responsibilities of everyday life, including eating healthy meals and drinking enough fluids.

An individual who lives in a nursing home may require meal assistance not only because they are unable to cook for themselves, but also due to dietary restrictions. Trained facility staff can provide food that meets the specialized nutritional needs of every patient, including those who may not be able to eat certain things because of allergies, diabetes, or interactions with medication.

Sadly, not all nursing home employees meet the demands of their job, and fail to provide their patients with proper nutrition. Elderly people who are already weakened by age or illness can suffer from severe health conditions if they are not being sufficiently fed.

Identifying Malnutrition

A person who is not eating enough, or is not eating healthy foods, can suffer from the effects of malnutrition which can impact a person’s brain and body. Malnutrition contributes to a variety of physical and mental conditions, and in severe cases, can be fatal. Elderly people who are already suffering from some kind of medical ailment can experience an intense worsening of symptoms when paired with the effects of malnutrition.

Malnourished elderly people may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle soreness
  • Vision problems
  • Mouth sores
  • Paleness or yellowing of skin
  • Confusion
  • Irritability

Dehydration Symptoms

Dehydration has many of the same effects as malnutrition, and similarly, can negatively impact the physical and mental health of patients. A lack of proper water intake, in many cases, is equally as detrimental as not receiving adequate nutrition.

A nursing home patient who is dehydrated may suffer from the following ailments:

  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Infrequent urination
  • Agitation and other mental symptoms
  • Breathing problems
  • Low blood pressure

If you loved one lives in a nursing home facility and is exhibiting signs of malnutrition or dehydration, contact Pierce, Sloan, Kennedy & Early LLC as soon as possible. We offer free consultations to discuss the details of your case in a no-obligation setting.

To reach our team of attorneys, call (843) 968-0886 or send us a message.
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