St. Louis County Dehydration and Malnutrition Lawyer
Everyone needs appropriate nutrition and hydration to remain healthy. This is undoubtedly true for nursing home residents, given the health challenges and diminished immune systems many face. Nursing home residents face an increased risk of dehydration for several reasons. Medicinal side effects and dental issues can make eating or drinking difficult. Other physical limitations can limit the amount of food or water a resident can take in by themselves.
When a nursing home or its employees fails to provide a resident with the food and water they need, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney might be able to help. By filing a lawsuit on their behalf, a St. Louis County dehydration and malnutrition lawyer could help a nursing home resident recover monetary damages for their injuries.
What Are the Risks of Dehydration and Malnutrition for Nursing Home Residents?
For a St. Louis County nursing home resident, there are many risks for both dehydration and malnutrition. Both conditions could be the basis for a viable nursing home abuse claim. A St. Louis County attorney could provide a victim of dehydration or malnutrition with a better understanding of the process of seeking compensation from their nursing home.
Dehydration is especially common in a nursing home setting due to many residents’ diminished ability to detect thirst or maintain fluid levels. Dehydration can cause a host of health problems. These health issues can be minor, including lethargy or confusion. Severe dehydration can lead to severe complications, including stroke, renal failure, pneumonia, and death.
Common signs of dehydration include:
- Severe thirst
- Decreased urine output
Malnutrition occurs when the body lacks the food and nutrients it needs to survive. The causes of malnutrition can vary from a patient forgetting to eat to a nursing home employee withholding food. In some cases, malnutrition occurs because care providers refuse to meet specialized feeding needs. Malnutrition can lead to the increased risk of other conditions, make falls more likely, and even cause death.
Common signs of malnutrition include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Muscle weakness
- Dry skin
- Hair stiffness
What Is a Nursing Home’s Duty of Care?
According to state law, nursing homes must maintain procedures to ensure their residents receive the proper level of nutrition and hydration. Food and water is a basic right of any resident, and the failure to provide it violates the nursing home’s duty of care to its residents.
In some uncommon cases, nursing home employees will intentionally withhold food or water to punish a patient they dislike. However, most cases are based on cost-cutting measures by the facility. Nursing homes exist to turn a profit, and margins increase when the investment in training and staffing at appropriate levels goes down.
To recover monetary damages on behalf of their client, a St. Louis County dehydration and malnutrition lawyer must establish that the nursing home violated their duty of care. The failure to provide a resident with the food and water they need to survive could result in strong grounds for a damages claim.
Reach out to a St. Louis County Dehydration and Malnutrition Attorney
If your loved one has endured dehydration or malnutrition due to nursing home abuse or neglect, they are entitled to seek monetary compensation. Identifying the person responsible for their mistreatment can be challenging, but an experienced attorney could assist with the process.
After identifying the person responsible, your loved one could file an injury lawsuit to recover their damages following their mistreatment. For thorough guidance on pursuing legal action, contact a St. Louis County dehydration and malnutrition lawyer right away.