Nursing home residents often depend entirely on facility staff for their hydration needs. Studies show that dehydration is one of the top forms of nursing home neglect. Inadequate hydration can exacerbate existing medical concerns. Even on its own, dehydration can be fatal.
If your loved one died in a California nursing home because of dehydration, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the nursing home and any other parties who should have been aware of the neglect.
If you are wondering what to do when your loved one dies of dehydration in a nursing home in California, the experienced and compassionate team at Silva Injury Law can help. Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and though we cannot ease your grief, we are committed to helping you seek justice for your loved one’s suffering. Contact Silva Injury Law to schedule your free case consultation.
Nursing Home Neglect
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six people living in a senior community setting experienced elder abuse in the last year. The organization also surveyed nursing home staff and found that two out of three admitted to committing some form of elder abuse in the previous year.
One of the most common excuses for lack of care is a shortage of staff members in elder care facilities. This is especially troubling in the Golden State. The California Department of Finance projects that the number of California residents aged 65 and older will nearly double between 2010 and 2030. These are the people most likely to need nursing homes or other long-term care assistance.
Lack of staffing or quality staff is no excuse for elder abuse, and it should not be tolerated. A study conducted by UCLA found approximately 40% of senior community residents are chronically dehydrated.
Signs of Dehydration
It is important that nursing home staff are trained to understand the risk of dehydration in nursing homes. Ensuring that staff is adequately educated is a responsibility of the facility. For a local facility, this could be the duty of management, but if the facility is larger, there may be a corporate responsibility. Here are some signs of dehydration that should have indicated something was wrong.
- Dry mouth,
- Little or no urination,
- Dark-colored urination,
- Loss of appetite,
- Dry skin,
- Skin flushing,
- Weakness or fatigue,
- Lack of sweat,
- Sunken eyes,
- Low blood pressure,
- Difficulty breathing, or
Lack of proper hydration should be one of the first things caregivers consider when something looks off with an older adult. Letting your loved one become severely dehydrated is a gross departure from the standard of care a nursing home owes to its residents. Severe dehydration should never go unnoticed because numerous indicators of the condition should be evident to a reasonable person entrusted with providing elder care.
What You Can Do If Your Loved One Died from Dehydration in a Nursing Home
After your loved one passes, the right to litigate transfers to a close relative. If you can prove the death occurred due to the negligent action or inaction of a person or party, you may have a valid wrongful death claim in California. Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death and the structure of the facility, there may be multiple liable parties. The nursing facility is the party against whom you will usually bring the cause of action.
How Can an Elder Law Attorney Help?
An experienced California elder law attorney can help you conduct a thorough investigation into the death of your loved one. Doing so will help you discover who is responsible for the loss. There are sections within the California Code of Regulations that specifically pertain to the responsibilities and expectations of nursing homes. The team at Silva Injury Law can help you file your claim within the two-year statute of limitations, enter negotiations for a fair settlement, and prepare for litigation if no settlement can be reached. Filing a lawsuit while you are grieving is difficult. We understand and are here to help.
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.