Poor Care? Malnutrition, Dehydration, Falling, and Pressure Ulcers

By Pamela D Wilson MS, BS/BA, CSA, NCG

Malnutrition, dehydration, falling, and pressure ulcers are common occurrences in the frail elderly population. When these issues occur in assisted living communities or in nursing homes, responsibility is placed on staff and assumptions are made that the diagnoses or event is the result of poor care.

When these occurrences are identified early, a review of the care plan and steps to address the concerns are implemented by care staff. That being said, questions remain about the level of care provided in assisted living communities and in nursing homes; neither promise or provide one-to-one care which is often the expectation of family members. Most care communities adhere closely to required staffing ratios.

If one-to-one care was unsustainable at home because of the inability of a spouse or family member to provide this level of care (family caregivers do wear out and become exhausted) is it practical to believe that community staff would be able to provide the same level of care? Is it possible to avoid health declines in a frail elderly population diagnosed with multiple chronic diseases, physical frailty, decreased cognitive function and underlying chronic infections?

What responsibility does family bear to ensuring that their loved ones receives the a level of care to avoid malnutrition, dehydration, falling, and pressure ulcers?

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©2015 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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