Many signs of trouble exist when one suspects nursing home abuse. They may include unkempt facilities, the serious disconnect between staff and residents, excessive staff turnover along with the physical and emotional red flags among residents. A couple of those physical signs of potential abuse remain malnutrition and dehydration, which often go hand-in-hand.
Together or on their own, malnutrition and dehydration can cause serious health problems and even prove fatal. Their unwelcome presence often leads to infections, weight loss, headaches, confusion and cramping. Unfortunately, some nursing home staff members may consider the lives of its residents as expendable. That is not right, and we know that their inaction can lead to malnutrition scenarios, which are usually preventable.
Poorly trained staff, lack of attention
Among the scenarios that can lead to malnutrition and dehydration in nursing homes include:
- Staff members who provide insufficient attention to residents who need help eating.
- Limited individualized care. Some residents lose their appetite due to lack of exercise and mental stimulation.
- Poorly trained staff members who fail to understand the proper and effective ways to help residents with eating and drinking. Proper positioning of the resident may help.
- An overreliance on liquid supplements rather than ensuring that residents obtain enough solid foods to obtain necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Failing to administer tube feedings.
- Not providing fresh water within a resident’s beside reach and failing to open cartons of liquid nourishment such as milk and juice.
- A dining room environment not conducive to a pleasant experience. This can lead to upset and agitation among residents who may have tantrums and do not eat.
Malnutrition and dehydration represent some of the worst signs of neglectful care in nursing homes. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from either of these health situations or show other signs of abuse, take immediate action.