Recent research has showed that thousands of elderly care home residents are admitted to hospital suffering from dehydration.
One in eight patients admitted from residential care had high sodium a level from lack of fluids, a study by Oxford University and two leading hospitals has shown. The figure was five times higher than those who were hospitalised from their own homes.
One of the reports’ authors suggested that care homes’ staff deliberately overlooked the problem of dehydration to cut down on incontinence, although other experts said that carelessness was to blame.
Caroline Abrahams of Age UK said that ‘deaths linked to dehydration are completely avoidable and unacceptable’. ‘We need to ensure that care home staff are trained to help [older people] and avoid increased health risks associated with dehydration , like confusion, low blood pressure and falls that can lead to hospitalisation.’
Carol Clay whose 71 year old mother Norma Spear died of dehydration in 2010 after 5 weeks and 4 days in a Birmingham care home said ‘to this day, changes are not being implemented. The level of care inside so-called care homes is appalling.’
The Care Quality Commission which inspects all care homes in England, has judged almost a third to be either poor or requiring significant improvement since it introduced its new inspection regime last year.
Morrisons Solicitors’ medical negligence team has handled several claims arising from care home patients with dehydration. Failure to provide sufficient hydration can amount to a breach of duty for which compensation can be claimed says Peregrine Lavington who heads up the team.
If you or any of your relatives has been let down by poor care in care homes, please contact Peregrine or Colette from Morrisons’ Medical Negligence and Personal Injury department who will be happy to advise you.
Alternatively you can visit www.morrlaw.com or call 01737 854 500.