Senior woman at home drinking hot drink and smiling

Dehydration in seniors is a significant problem with dangerous health implications.

Did you know…almost 1/2 of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, as reported by a recent scientific study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but older adults over age 65 represent the highest category of hospital admissions due to dehydration.

Dehydration in seniors can easily come up unexpectedly. Older adults frequently have a minimized sensation of thirst and may experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or they may incorrectly believe that drinking less will prevent incontinence issues.

Dehydration is extremely dangerous, raising the risk for health concerns such as:

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

Dehydration is generally identified according to these symptoms:

Early stages:

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

Advanced stages:

  • Confusion and disorientation, including 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
  • Worsened muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions

Even though we frequently pay more attention to hydration once the temperature is elevated, it is crucial for seniors to consume sufficient fluids all year long. A straightforward formula to determine just how much, on average, an older adult should drink each day is to divide the older adult’s body weight by 3, and have him or her consume that many ounces of water. To illustrate, if a senior loved one weighs 180 pounds, he or she would require no less than 60 ounces of water each day.

Try these tips so that the older adults you love continue to be healthy and hydrated:

  • Plain water is ideal, but consider other types of fluids, such as soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. However, eliminate sugary and caffeinated beverages.
  • Place bottled water, or a small pitcher of ice water and a cup, next to the senior to prompt him or her to sip on it throughout the day.
  • Try various temperatures. In some cases, a warmed cup of water is more soothing than an icy one. You may also try heating up juice and other beverages to determine if they are more appealing, or offer popsicles.

The professional in-home caregivers at Atlanta Home Care Partners are adept in creative approaches to help seniors stay hydrated, as well as in monitoring fluid intake to ensure sufficient fluids are consumed every day. Give the experts Decatur home care team a call at (404) 228-0103 or view our full service area. Find out how we can help enhance the health of the elderly throughout Atlanta, right within the convenience and familiarity of home.