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Signs of dehydration in the elderly

Dehydration is one of the biggest problems that the elderly face in assisted living centers. On its own, it does not necessarily mean that a resident is being abused or neglected, but it can be a warning sign that family members need to watch out for. It could mean that the staff is not giving the person adequate food and water and is therefore neglecting to meet their needs properly.

For elderly individuals with disabilities, it can be hard for family members to know if they're dehydrated since they may not know themselves or they may not say anything. Signs that can be observed that indicate serious dehydration include the following:

-- Weight loss. Experts warn to watch out for quick weight loss, such as dropping two pounds in 24 hours.

-- Headaches and dizziness. If a person has trouble walking, this could also be a related indicator.

-- An increased heart rate and/or dropping blood pressure levels.

-- Eyes that appear too sunken into the head or an excessively dry mouth.

Of course, tracking the loss of bodily fluids may also help. However, it's harder to do if you're not around the person 24/7. Dehydration may be an issue if the person has a low output of urine, can't cry, or does not sweat. Constipation has also been linked to dehydration.

Do you think that a loved on is dehydrated specifically because he or she is being neglected by the staff? This can be a very dire situation with severe consequences. You need to know what legal options you have in Ohio.

Source: A Place for Mom, "Elderly Dehydration: Prevention & Treatment," accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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