How to Take Care of an Elderly Relative Suffering from Dehydration and Malnutrition During Their Stay in a Nursing Home

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As much as you want to take care of your elderly relative yourself, circumstances haven’t allowed you to do so. So, you decide to send your elderly relative to a nursing home under the impression that he or she will be well taken care of by highly skilled personnel. However, either the nursing home is undermanned, or the personnel working there aren’t that attentive to your elderly relative’s basic needs, which leads you to discharge and bring him or her home. You have discovered that your loved one is suffering from dehydration and malnutrition.

You’ll want to take gentle care of your elderly relative with these tips so that they can recover from the neglect inflicted upon them by negligent nursing home staff.

Here are some very important things to do right away.

1.) Ensure that your elderly relative consumes enough fluids during the day.

The nursing home personnel assigned to take care of your elderly relative during their stay may have been depriving them of water so he or she did not wet their bed while they slept. You may then have mistaken your elderly relative’s weak appearance as the usual physical signs of aging. But after having him or her checked by a qualified medical professional, you will know for sure whether or not your loved one is suffering from dehydration.

  • Now that you’ve gotten your elderly relative out of the nursing home and safely settled in your own home, you should make sure that he or she is taking in an adequate amount of fluids on a daily basis.
  • You can place a non-breakable water bottle beside them for easy reach and include soups as well as fluid-rich fruits and vegetables in their diet so that they’re consistently hydrated.

2.) Prepare healthy meals for your elderly relative to eat.

Your elderly relative may also not have been getting his or her daily dose of proper nutrition during the stay in the nursing home, especially if the facility primarily serves  pre-packaged food.

  • Aside from the fruits and vegetables as mentioned above, you should also add to the diet whole grains and lean meat daily so he or she can get all the nutrients and calories needed to recover fast.
  • If you plan on including any nutritional supplements to enhance your elderly relative’s daily nutrient intake, you should consult a doctor first.

3.) File a compensation claim against the nursing home.

The nursing home where you sent your elderly relative was supposed to adhere to a duty of care to your loved one and all the other residents. After finding out that your elderly relative suffered from dehydration and malnutrition during a stay there, you should seek counsel from a lawyer who can help you earn the rightful compensation your elderly relative deserves to have.

Be Watchful and Take Care of Your Loved One

According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, elderly residents of nursing homes are five times more likely to suffer from dehydration compared to those who were taken care of in their own home. To add insult to injury, a 2013 report from an Australian newspaper researched that one out of every five nursing home residents suffers from malnutrition.

Dehydration and malnutrition in nursing homes happen too often, which shouldn’t be the case at all, as older adults deserve the best possible care. If you’ve got an elderly relative who has suffered from dehydration and malnutrition during his or her stay in a nursing home, the above tips should make it easier for you to take care of them.