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Nursing Home Wandering May Lead to Fatal Consequences

Posted on in Wandering and Elopement

IL nursing home abuse lawyerChicago is known for its harsh winters, but the summer weather can be just as unbearable. Temperatures frequently rise to the 80s and 90s in the summer months which can present a major health hazard to elderly and disabled individuals. Nursing home residents are often particularly vulnerable to extreme temperatures because their bodies are weakened by age and illness. If a nursing home resident wanders into an area of the facility that is not air-conditioned or properly ventilated or leaves the facility, he or she may suffer deadly health conditions in a matter of minutes.

Residents Who are Not Properly Supervised May Suffer Heatstroke

The older we get, the less our bodies are able to regulate our internal temperature. Elderly nursing home residents and those with chronic health conditions are often unable to tolerate the heat. Residents with cognitive impairment are at an increased risk of heatstroke because they may not realize that it is unsafe for them to go outside. If residents are not properly supervised, they may elope from the nursing home facility and into the dangerous weather. Heatstroke or sunstroke is a condition caused by the body overheating. Without immediate medical treatment, heatstroke causes major damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, and often results in death.

Dehydration is a Critical Concern in Nursing Homes

Another grave concern for nursing home residents in the summer heat is dehydration. Residents with marked cognitive decline may actually forget to drink water if they are not frequently reminded to do so. Problems with swallowing or mobility concerns may also lead to inadequate water intake. Many nursing home residents are also on medications that increase the amount of water that is excreted from the body which can make them especially at risk of dehydration. Nursing home staff must ensure that residents are drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated. They should also carefully monitor residents for signs of dehydration such as infrequent urination, dry mouth, low blood pressure, and unusually pale skin. If a nursing home’s failure to prevent heat-related illnesses such as dehydration or heatstroke leads to a resident’s death or injury, the nursing home may be legally responsible for the harm caused.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Nursing home staff have a legal duty to provide adequate care to residents. If nursing home neglect has led to your loved one’s injury or death in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law. A personal injury claim may enable you to hold the negligent nursing home facility accountable for the wrongdoing as well as recover compensation for your losses. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced Illinois nursing home injury attorney by calling our office at 312-535-4625 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/older-adults-heat.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults

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