Chicago Malnutrition Dehydration Lawyers
Fighting against negligence in Illinois nursing homes
Nursing home residents may suffer from malnutrition or dehydration when they are neglected by their caregivers.
Ferrell Young, LLC is a law firm dedicated to putting a stop to nursing home neglect and abuse of all forms. If you or a loved one is suffering from malnutrition in nursing home care, you may be able to file a claim for damages against the long-term care facility or a specific caregiver. Our experienced Chicago malnutrition attorneys will build you a strong case and fight for your right to compensation and better care. We will do whatever it takes to help you achieve justice, even if it means taking your case to court. Let us advocate for your legal rights.
Call our firm or contact us online to get the legal help you deserve. All initial consultations come with no obligation and are completely free of charge. Se habla Español.
What is malnutrition?
Nursing home malnutrition cases tend to involve a lack of proper nutrition, which can lead to serious health conditions and even cause wrongful death.
Additionally, the likelihood of being malnourished can increase due to certain factors, many of which are prevalent among people aged 65 and up (see below to learn more). In fact, malnutrition may also be caused by numerous factors, such as poor physical health (an inability to chew) or mental health (depression). If, however, the conditions of a nursing home or a specific caregiver led to serious consequences of malnutrition or dehydration, you may have a claim against the at fault party(ies).
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a medical term used to describe a condition in which someone loses more fluids than they consume. Because water accounts for more than two-thirds of a human body, dehydration can cause serious short-term and long-term health problems.
If dehydration is left unaddressed, some of the health problems that can occur include seizures, kidney failure, shock, coma and even death. This is why it’s critical that nursing homes make sure that residents are well hydrated at all times. In general, there are three different stages of dehydration:
- Mild dehydration – Defined as roughly 5 to 6 percent loss of bodily fluids, mild dehydration often results in headaches, fatigue, and dizziness.
- Moderate dehydration – If someone loses 7 to 10 percent of their bodily fluids, they may experience low blood pressure, accelerated heart rate and dry skin.
- Severe dehydration – Defined as having lost at least 10 percent of their bodily fluids, someone with severe dehydration can pass out, have a seizure, or experience other serious health problems.
Possible causes of malnutrition
Factors that may contribute to malnutrition include:
- Chronic illnesses
- Dental and/or mouth problems
- Isolation during meals
- Lack of funds to purchase nutritional food
- Poor sense of smell or taste
- Recent hospitalizations
How nursing home negligence causes dehydration
Nursing home negligence often results in dehydration involving nursing home residents. Examples include:
- Not providing residents with enough water.
- Not monitoring residents to ensure that they are actually drinking fluids.
- Hot, dry conditions in the nursing home.
- Failure to monitor a nursing home resident’s vital signs.
- Not performing regular medical exams, especially among people at high risk of dehydration.
Effects of malnutrition to watch out for
Signs that your loved one may be suffering from malnutrition include:
- Canker sores
- Difficulty communicating
- Difficulty swallowing
- Recent dental problems
- Red or glassy eyes
- Weight loss
- White fingernails
- Yellowing skin
If left untreated, malnutrition can lead to long-term effects on the body, such as a weakened immune system, and may even lead to a tragic death. Malnutrition also increases the chance of fall injuries.
Warning signs of dehydration
There are many symptoms of dehydration, especially among older adults living in a nursing home. Common warning signs of dehydration include:
- Frequent headaches
- Extreme fatigue
- Dry mouth
- Diarrhea for 24 hours or more
Can I file a lawsuit for malnutrition or dehydration?
Yes. You have the right to take legal action against a nursing home if you believe their negligence resulted in malnutrition or dehydration. However, it’s important to act quickly. That’s because the evidence you need to build a strong legal case might not be there if you wait too long. Physical evidence can easily be lost or destroyed. Witnesses (including nursing home staff members or fellow residents) might move away, no longer work there, or forget what happened.
Make sure you give your legal case the best chance for success. Talk to a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer at our law firm as soon as possible.
How an attorney can help
The Illinois Department of Public Health investigates allegations of nursing home abuse or neglect, including health problems caused by malnutrition and dehydration. But it’s important to understand the scope of their investigation. In most cases, they’re simply focused on determining whether the nursing home violated the law. They’re not concerned with whether you receive the money you deserve for your injury-related expenses.
That’s our job. That’s why our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers at Ferrell Young, LLC want to meet with you. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with or is showing signs of malnutrition while in nursing home care, a lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and whether you have a claim.
Our legal team will immediately get to work on investigating your claim, negotiating or litigating a settlement, and helping to move you or your loved one to a safe environment. For a free case evaluation following an injury or illness caused by malnutrition or dehydration, please contact our offices online or call us today. Se habla Español.