The staff at nursing homes must offer high-quality care to each and every resident. Along with providing nutritious meals, administering medications, and ensuring residents receive socialization, staff must also prevent the elderly from leaving the facility.
As reported by KVIA.com, Las Cruces, a local call went out for a man that recently went missing from his nursing home. Authorities expressed concern about the impact the excessive heat could have on the man without access to proper hydration.
The impact of elevated temperatures on the elderly
New Mexico regularly has extremely high temperatures. Even healthy, fit people can succumb to the heat without the proper hydration and shelter from the sun. When it comes to an elderly person, who might have health conditions or cognitive issues, the effects are even more severe.
Dehydration can set in quickly with excess sun exposure. Dizziness and confusion accompany dehydration, which makes it even more difficult for a person to seek help as needed. Organ function is also affected if immediate treatment is not sought. In serious cases, a person might lose their life.
A good outcome for a frightening story
Fortunately, the 91-year-old man was quickly found and returned to the nursing home without major injury or illness. Authorities expressed great relief at the outcome, citing past cases where elderly people ultimately fell victim to the high temperatures.
While this story had a fortunately happy ending, it highlights the hazards that may occur when staff are not as attentive as possible. A moment of inattention could have resulted in a tragedy if authorities did not find the man in a timely manner. If you have concerns about the safety of a loved one in a nursing home, contact the administrator right away with your concerns.