Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Facilities

Lawyers Who Know Malnutrition in New Jersey Nursing Facilities Can Cause Serious Harm

Our lawyers-doctor advocates for neglected long-term care patients

Malnourishment and dehydration are serious issues that can cause severe medical problems and, eventually, death. These conditions are medical emergencies that require immediate attention to prevent permanent damage. Yet, too often, nursing home personnel neglect patients’ health until it is too late.

Seigel Law has been committed to helping the most vulnerable residents in our communities since 1976. Our lawyers assist families in Ridgewood, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Teaneck, Garfield, Fort Lee, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth and Clifton whose loved ones have suffered assaultsfalls, neglect, abuse and other nursing home injuries. We make sure your loved one receives prompt medical care and is in a safe place. Our attorneys then hold the negligent nursing home and staff accountable for your loved one’s injuries.

Why nursing home residents become dehydrated and malnourished

The elderly are particularly prone to dehydration and malnutrition, making the nursing home’s duties at mealtime all the more important. Nursing home staff, dieticians, nurses, doctors, administrators and cafeteria servers should work together to prevent these common reasons that seniors become dehydrated or malnourished:

  • An underlying medical condition prevents absorption of nutrients.
  • Medication interferes with absorption of nutrients or diminishes appetite.
  • Pain or dental problems hinder the person’s ability to eat.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting causes rapid dehydration.
  • The person’s diet lacks diversity.
  • Foods are processed and devoid of vital nutrients.
  • Meals are bland or otherwise unpleasant.
  • The resident is isolated during meals.
  • Staff fails to monitor the resident.

Protecting your loved one from nursing home injuries

Nursing home residents may not realize that their ill health is directly linked to poor diet and lack of hydration. Your loved one may not be able to communicate feelings of distress, pain and exhaustion.

Symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition vary and can sometimes develop slowly or be mistaken for other medical conditions. You can prevent your loved one from becoming malnourished and dehydrated by looking for these signs:


  • Extreme thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramping
  • Constipation
  • Decreased urine output
  • Lack of perspiration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Panting or rapid breathing


  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Not getting enough calories
  • Easy bruising
  • Slow wound healing
  • Dental deterioration
  • Lack of vital nutrients
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Specific illnesses

Take action if your loved one is neglected at a long-term care facility

Seigel Law is a dedicated advocate for nursing home residents in northern New Jersey. Call our law firm at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation with a lawyer-doctor at our Ridgewood-based office, in your home or at the nursing home facility. Through our contingency arrangement, you are not responsible for attorney fees unless we recover damages on your claim.