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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


One of a family's most heartbreaking experiences is seeing their loved one suffer. Unfortunately, malnutrition and dehydration are not uncommon in nursing homes and can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of older adults.

If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of malnutrition, dehydration, or other forms of neglect in a nursing home, contact Leitner Varughese PLLC to get legal guidance. Our New York City nursing home lawyers can investigate your concerns and determine if you have grounds to sue the facility for your loved one's malnutrition or dehydration.

What are Malnutrition and Dehydration?

Malnutrition occurs when the body does not receive enough vital nutrients to maintain health. Dehydration happens when the body does not have enough water to function properly. Both can cause serious health problems and even death if not properly managed, especially in elderly individuals. In nursing homes, malnutrition and dehydration can be caused by many factors.

Causes of Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes

According to a report cited by The Commonwealth Fund, an estimated 35% to 85% of nursing home residents are malnourished. There are several reasons why malnutrition and dehydration may occur in nursing homes, including understaffing or inadequate training of nursing home staff members, failure to properly monitor residents' food and water intake, and medical conditions that affect the ability to eat or drink. Many residents are unable to feed themselves or require special diets that are not adequately provided.

Signs of Malnutrition and Dehydration

Recognizing the signs of malnutrition and dehydration is critical to be able to catch the issue early on. By understanding the causes of these problems and knowing what signs to look for, families can be vigilant in protecting their loved ones from harm. Some of the most common symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration include:

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue or weakness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Muscle weakness or wasting

  • Poor wound healing or increased susceptibility to infections

  • Dry mouth or cracked lips

  • Dark urine or decreased urine output

  • Dizziness or confusion

  • Sunken eyes

  • Rapid heartbeat or breathing

If you notice any of the symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration when visiting your loved one in a nursing home, you might want to investigate this matter further.

Can You Sue the Nursing Home for Malnutrition and Dehydration?

Families who suspect that their loved one has suffered from malnutrition or dehydration in a nursing home may have legal options available to them. A personal injury lawsuit can be filed against the nursing home if it can be proven that the facility was negligent in providing adequate care to the resident. Our skilled lawyers at Leitner Varughese PLLC can help you and your family navigate the legal process and hold the responsible parties accountable.

Let Our Nursing Home Lawyers Help

Malnutrition and dehydration are serious issues that can have devastating effects on nursing home residents. Families who suspect that their loved one has been mistreated in this way should not hesitate to take action. If necessary, legal action should be taken to hold nursing homes accountable for neglect and provide a measure of justice for your loved one. Contact Leitner Varughese PLLC to schedule a free case evaluation with our lawyers. Call 212-671-1110.


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