Although it might seem like the most basic function a full-time care facility could provide, it is fairly common for nursing homes to fail to provide their residents with the food and water they need to be healthy. Whether this happens because of inadvertent neglect or intentional abuse, it is unacceptable for any nursing home resident to be mistreated in this way. Therefore, anyone living in a nursing home who does not have their nutritional needs met may have grounds to file suit—or have someone file suit for them—over their ensuing injuries and losses.

However, it can be difficult to establish with certainty that a nursing home resident is being denied food and water and that they have suffered specific damages as a result. When achieving successful outcomes from cases built around dehydration and malnutrition in Houston nursing homes, seeking support from a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer is crucial.

How Neglect Can Endanger the Health of Nursing Home Residents

In rare situations, abusive nursing home staff members and administrators may deliberately withhold food and water from residents as a punishment or means of exerting control over vulnerable people. Much more commonly, though, dehydration and malnutrition in nursing homes stems from staff members being unable to provide adequate care to all their residents due to a lack of training or experience.

In addition to having serious physical or cognitive disadvantages, nursing home residents in Houston are also often taking medications with side effects that may affect their ability to process and retain nutrients and water. Facility staff members need to know exactly what medication each resident receives, ensure they have access to a balanced diet and sufficient water, and ensure that each resident eats and drinks a proper amount. A failure to do any of this could be the basis for civil litigation.

Identifying Dehydration and Malnutrition in Assisted Living Facilities

The most obvious sign that someone in a nursing home is malnourished is dramatic and unexplained weight loss, particularly if an otherwise healthy resident has lost five pounds or more since moving into the facility. Other possible symptoms of malnutrition inside Houston nursing homes include difficulty chewing and swallowing, muscle weakness and degeneration, thinning or discolored hair or skin, and increased sensitivity to cold temperatures.

Dehydration can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive fatigue or lethargy
  • Changes in skin color or elasticity
  • Swelling in the feet or hands
  • Sunken eyes
  • Cramping
  • Dark urine
  • Cracked lips
  • Low blood pressure or elevated heart rate

A knowledgeable attorney in Houston could answer questions about specific signs of nursing home abuse or neglect during a confidential consultation.

Speak With an Attorney in Houston About Litigation Regarding Nursing Home Dehydration and Malnutrition

Every nursing home resident in Texas has a legal right to receive high-quality and considerate care, including sufficient food and water. Any facility that deprives a resident of their nutritional needs in any way for any reason may be civilly liable for any harm that resident experiences because of that mistreatment.

Dehydration and malnutrition in Houston nursing homes can be much easier to address proactively and effectively with a knowledgeable legal professional on your side. Call Roberts Markland LLP today to discuss your legal options and get started on your case.