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Dehydration: Know the signs to protect your loved one

Dehydration is a medical term that refers to when there is not enough water in the body. Dehydration can cause many health problems, and it's likely that you've noticed someone with dehydration develop a headache or feel dizzy from the lack of water or other fluids.

It is important to make sure that your elderly loved one is getting enough to drink each day. Dehydration can become severe and may impact the elderly even more seriously than a younger, healthier individual.

Why does dehydration happen?

Dehydration occurs when a person is losing more water than they're taking into their body. Water is expelled from the body in several ways including:

  • Sweating
  • Urinating
  • In excrement

Water is a necessity in the human body. It helps regulate body temperature and eliminate waste. It also helps maintain blood pressure.

What happens when a person is dehydrated?

When a person becomes dehydrated, there are a number of symptoms that may arise including:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Bedsores
  • Death

Did you know that humans usually can't live more than four days without water?

The medical staff at the nursing home knows that water is essential to your loved one staying healthy while a resident at the facility. They are also aware that there are a number of causes of dehydration including:

  • Illness
  • Decreased kidney function
  • Medications
  • Decreased thirst

How much water should your loved one be drinking each day?

It is difficult to say, because everyone is different. The amount an elder needs to drink may rely on their weight, the medications they take and other factors.

Most nursing homes track residents' intake each day. If the person is not drinking enough, the nursing home may make more water or drinks available to encourage them to drink more. If this doesn't help, a good nursing home will reach out to a hospital or have someone provide an IV drip to prevent severe dehydration.

What should you do if your loved one is injured or dies due to dehydration?

In a medical setting, dehydration should not occur, because patients are supposed to be monitored closely. If your loved one suffers from a fall or develops injuries as a result of severe dehydration, you can get in touch with your attorney to talk about taking further action against the nursing home in Illinois and seeking compensation for what your loved one has been put through.

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