Dehydration in Seniors: Warning Signs & Tips to Help Stay Hydrated

Dehydration in Seniors: Warning Signs & Tips to Help Stay Hydrated
Senior African American woman at home

Dehydration in seniors is common and can lead to health issues if not addressed.

Did you realize…approximately 50% of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, according to a recent study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest category of hospital admissions because of dehydration.

Dehydration in seniors can sneak up quickly because they often have a decreased sensation of thirst, can experience medication side effects that can cause hydration problems, or they mistakenly believe that drinking less will reduce incontinence issues.

Senior dehydration is extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health issues such as:

  • UTIs
  • Kidney stones and/or failure
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Hypovolemic shock
  • And many others

Dehydration is generally detected by the following symptoms:

Early stages:

  • Decreased amount/darker-colored urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or exhaustion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritation

Advanced stages:

  • Confusion and disorientation, such as problems with walking
  • Low blood pressure and diminished, faster pulse and breathing
  • Stomach bloating
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Skin that is wrinkled without having any elasticity
  • Intensified muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions

Even though we commonly pay more attention to hydration as soon as the temperature is elevated, it is crucial for older adults to drink sufficient fluids throughout the year. An easy formula to determine just how much, generally, a senior should drink daily is to divide the senior’s body weight by 3, and consume that many ounces of water. To illustrate, if a senior weighs 180 pounds, she or he would need to have no less than 60 ounces of water each day.

Try these strategies so that the older adults you love remain healthy and hydrated:

  • Plain water is most beneficial, but think about other sources of fluids, such as soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. That said, avoid, sugary and caffeinated beverages.
  • Place bottled water, or a small pitcher of ice water and a cup close to the senior to prompt him or her to sip on it through the day.
  • Test assorted temperatures. Sometimes a warmed cup of water is more enjoyable than an icy one. You may even try heating up juice and other beverages to figure out if they are more appealing, or offer popsicles.

The knowledgeable in-home caregivers at Hired Hands Homecare are experienced in imaginative strategies to help older adults stay hydrated, and in monitoring fluid intake to ensure adequate fluids are consumed every single day. Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to find out how we can help enhance the health of seniors with our top-rated home care assistance in Kentfield and the surrounding communities.

One thought on “Dehydration in Seniors: Warning Signs & Tips to Help Stay Hydrated

  1. Great article Mark! Like you said, dehydration can be extremely serious for seniors. That is why it is best to be aware of the warning signs. Apart from the ones mentioned you, sunken eyes is a common sign.

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