Dehydration and Malnourishment

Good nutrition is very important for our overall health and well-being. It can be especially difficult for seniors to get the nourishment and fluids they need, and malnutrition and dehydration can seriously affect older adults. Nursing homes are supposed to provide the highest level of care for family members, but unfortunately, abuse in these homes is more common than people think. Signs of dehydration and malnutrition in nursing homes may be a sign of neglect or mistreatment.

Age-Related Causes of Dehydration and Malnourishment

As people age, their bodies naturally decrease in the senses of taste and smell, making it harder to maintain good nutrition. Older adults may also suffer from dysphagia, difficulty swallowing, and discomfort from dentures, making it harder to consume enough food and drink. Limited mobility can further complicate an older adult’s ability to get food and water. Additionally, preexisting conditions, such as infections, cancer, diabetes, and dementia, as well as certain medications, can lead to decreased appetite and dehydration.

Dehydration and Malnourishment in Nursing Homes

Malnourishment in elderly people in nursing homes can seriously affect their health. Signs that a senior may be malnourished include feeling weak, tired, cold, having difficulty concentrating, and having frequent illnesses. If a senior has vomiting or diarrhea, they are even more likely to be dehydrated and malnourished. Severe dehydration can be very dangerous and lead to low blood pressure and lack of oxygen, which can be fatal.

Symptoms of Dehydration and Malnourishment

Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. It can lead to signs and symptoms such as dark urine, infrequent urination, exhaustion, dizziness, dryness in the mouth or tongue, and sunken eyes or cheeks. Mild cases of dehydration can usually be managed by increasing water intake and eating more. However, more serious cases may require medical attention. A doctor can make medication changes, prescribe vitamins and supplements, adjust the diet, and assess and treat any underlying health problems contributing to dehydration and malnourishment.

Nursing Home Abuse 

Neglect and abuse of the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes, is a serious problem. Neglect can take many forms, such as insufficient food, water, and medical care. Other forms of abuse, such as physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, are also reported. Signs of neglect and abuse include malnourishment, dehydration, and weakness. It is important to recognize the warning signs to ensure your loved ones are being cared for properly.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, you should be aware of warning signs that may indicate nursing home abuse. Dehydration and malnourishment can indicate abuse and neglect, and you should enlist the help of an attorney with experience in nursing home abuse to investigate the reasons behind your loved one’s condition. Additionally, the abuse and neglect in a nursing home may be considered a violation of the resident’s civil rights. As such, you may want to consider utilizing the services of a civil rights attorney to take legal action against the nursing home.


Dehydration and malnourishment is a serious form of nursing home abuse that should not be taken lightly. It can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences for the elderly residents of nursing homes. It is important for families to monitor the care and nutrition of their loved ones and to be aware of the signs of dehydration and malnourishment. If any signs of abuse are noticed, it is essential to take action to protect the elderly from further harm. It is also important for nursing home staff to be trained in providing proper nutrition and hydration to their residents. Only with the combined efforts of family, staff, and government can we end the abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes.

Mendes, Reins, and Wilander is a personal injury law firm focusing on major and catastrophic injury, nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and vehicle accidents like car, motorcycle, and commercial vehicles. Our mission is to fight to protect your rights and seek maximum justice and compensation for all serious injuries. We are focused on clients and driven by results. If you need an attorney to handle a case on nursing home neglect in Tampa, FL, get in touch with us at 888-862-0025 or email us using this form! Let us know how we can help.