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Dehydration & Malnutrition

Patrick E. Knie

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serving Spartanburg and Greenville

Nothing is more stressful than having to move one of your elderly loved ones into a care facility. No matter how much you research the nursing home or visit your loved one, you can never be sure that they are receiving the care and attention that they need and deserve. Even some of the most simple conditions like dehydration and malnutrition are common at assisted living facilities, leading to pain, suffering, and complications for elderly residents, especially when they have an existing medical condition. At Knie & Shealy Law Offices, our nursing home abuse attorneys have represented individuals and families in Spartanburg as well as Greenville and elsewhere in South Carolina. We can guide you through the process of pursuing compensation from a facility when its staff has acted negligently.

Pursuing Damages for Injuries Caused by Dehydration or Malnutrition

Although elderly care facilities are designed to provide around-the-clock care and treatment for their residents, they often fall short when it comes to providing some of the most basic services. There is no shortage of stories reporting nursing homes where residents were discovered to have rampant bedsores, pneumonia, confusion, infections, or even more serious health conditions like strokes and seizures, without receiving the proper attention and care. For elderly residents who are taking a series of medications, dehydration and malnutrition can pose particularly challenging threats. Some senior citizens may need reminders to eat their meals and stay hydrated—something that can easily fall through the cracks at a busy and understaffed licensed care facility.

In general, nursing homes are required to treat their residents with the same care and skill that reasonably prudent staff in a similar setting would use. This includes providing routine check-ups and assuring that the residents’ basic needs are addressed, including things like hydration and nourishment. If the plaintiff can establish that the nursing home’s actions went beyond negligence and were willful, wanton, malicious, or reckless, the defendant may be required to pay punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. For example, a nursing home sometimes knew or should have known that certain conduct or omissions were occurring at the facility, including intentional disregard of patients’ requests for treatment.

After showing that the facility acted negligently or recklessly, the plaintiff must show that these actions were the cause of the resident’s injuries and damages. In many instances, dehydration and malnourishment can lead to confusion, weight loss, memory problems, skin breakdown, muscle weakness, increased susceptibility to infection, and immune system dysfunction. It is usually helpful to consult an experienced medical professional who can serve as a witness during trial. This expert can explain to a jury how the defendant’s failure to hydrate and nourish the plaintiff led to his or her harm.

Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence of the monetary expenses that the resident has suffered as a result of the incident, such as medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Enlist an Attorney in Spartanburg or Greenville for Your Negligence Claim

If you or a loved one has been improperly treated at a nursing home or licensed care facility, you may want to pursue compensation. The Knie & Shealy Law Offices consists of injury lawyers who have offices in both Spartanburg and Greenville. We proudly serve individuals and families in many areas of South Carolina, including in Cherokee, Greenville, Union, and Laurens Counties. We will treat you with the compassion and attention that you deserve while guiding you through each step of the process. Call us at (864) 582-5118 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.