Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Malnutrition in the elderly is defined as following: faulty or inadequate nutritional status; undernourishment characterized by insufficient dietary intake, poor appetite, muscle wasting and weight loss.
Dehydration and malnutrition commonly occur in residents with dementia and/or Alzheimers. Why? Because those residents need assistance with eating, and the more assistance they need (ie, verbal reminders as opposed to physically feeding them each bite) the more likely they are to become dehydrated and malnourished. Why? Staffing, plain and simple. There are not enough staff to take good care of the residents, and not spending the time to make sure a resident gets enough to eat or drink doesn’t seem like neglect one meal or shift at a time, but it adds up, and results in severe injuries and death.
At Johnson Moore we have handled hundreds of elder neglect cases involving dehydration and malnutrition. If you have questions about the care and treatment you or a loved one has received, please call us for a free consultation.