Nursing homes are facilities that have the responsibility to care for extremely vulnerable people. These people are dependent on the care that they receive, without which they wouldn’t be able to make their basic needs get met. While the vast majority of nursing homes and caregivers are extremely competent in looking after their residents, unfortunately, there are occasions where a nursing home resident suffers significantly because of poor care or neglect.
There are many ways in which nursing home residents can suffer due to failings in care, and one of these is through not being given adequate nutrition. If you are currently concerned about a loved one who is residing in a nursing home because they have lost a lot of weight or seem unwell, you should consider the possibility of malnutrition or dehydration.
Signs of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents
You should first be aware of the key signs of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents. You may start to notice that they have lost weight or have loose-fitting clothing. If dehydrated, they will likely have dry, cracked lips, a pale-looking mouth and may also have difficulty speaking because of a dry mouth. They may have dark urine and appear weak and disorientated.
What should I do if I believe my loved one is suffering from malnutrition or dehydration?
First, you should let the staff know that they are hungry and thirsty so that they can get what they need. Second, look into the situation. Try to understand whether your loved one is allowed to eat and drink when they want or if they have to wait until they are served. See whether they can choose food that they like and whether their health is being monitored regularly.
It can be the case that malnutrition and dehydration are a result of neglect in a nursing home. Make sure that you protect your loved one and hold the nursing home responsible by looking into your legal options.