One of the most serious problems in a nursing home is actually fairly simple: Dehydration. When the elderly suffer from dehydration, it can lead to very serious complications and even injuries. It’s important for family members to know what signs to look out for.
Dehydration is potentially a sign of neglect. Many elderly people in nursing homes lack the ability to get the basic things they need for themselves, such as a glass of water. If the staff is not attentive to their needs, or if the nursing home is severely understaffed, they may not get the nourishment and refreshment that they need. It’s important to take dehydration seriously from the first signs.
How you may notice dehydration in an elderly loved one
Even if your loved one lacks the ability to communicate to you that they are in distress, you may notice these signs of dehydration:
- An increased level of confusion
- Difficulty with balance
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Not using the bathroom often
- Crying without tears
- Feeling nauseated
- Complaining of a consistent headache
- Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too often
- Struggling to do even simple physical tasks
- Becoming disoriented or irritable
It can be difficult to sort out these symptoms from other common signs of aging. Is your loved one disoriented simply because of their normal mental confusion, or are they dehydrated? Is that making it worse?
If you do spot these signs and you believe your loved one is being neglected, then it is time to take a moment and look into your legal options. You must take this seriously, s dehydration can come on faster than people realize and often is much more serious than expected.