Symptoms of dehydration in elderly adults may sometimes be subtle, but not drinking enough water and fluids can have a big effect on the body, especially in the elderly . Severe dehydration can lead to confusion, weakness, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, bedsores in bedridden patients, and other serious conditions.
A lack of thirst can indicate head injuries, liver disease, specific types of cancer, or stroke. Excessive thirst , especially when prolonged, or a sudden change in your thirst pattern can also be a symptom of a number of conditions.
The sensation of thirst decreases with age , as does the amount of water in our bodies, which makes seniors more at risk for dehydration.
How to prevent dehydration in older adults ? Experts generally recommend that older adults consume at least 1.7 liters of fluid per 24 hours. This corresponds to 57.5 fluid ounces, or 7.1 cups.
Top Signs of Dehydration in Seniors Thirst, of course. Most adults are well acquainted with the sensation of thirst, but the elderly often dismiss or simply do not to notice this early symptom, which means it’s essential to keep an eye out for other indicators, such as: Muscle weakness . Lethargy.
Some common signs and symptoms of dehydration include: dry mouth . tiredness or fatigue. sunken eyes. a decrease in urination. urine that’s a darker color than normal. muscle cramping. feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
Dehydration can be caused by illness, profuse sweating, too much urine output, vomiting, or diarrhea. Diabetes mellitus: Excessive thirst can be caused by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). It’s often one of the first noticeable symptoms of this type of diabetes .
Thirst is normally just the brain’s way of warning that you’re dehydrated because you’re not drinking enough fluid. But excessive and persistent thirst (known as polydipsia ) could be a sign of an underlying problem such as diabetes.
A dry mouth can occur when the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva. This is often the result of dehydration, which means you don’t have enough fluid in your body to produce the saliva you need. It’s also common for your mouth to become dry if you’re feeling anxious or nervous.
Hydration in the elderly can be easily managed with these simple tips: Encourage fluids. Stay away from caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol. Wear breathable material. Take frequent breaks. Eat healthy. Act on early signs of dehydration. Know their medications.
6 ways to get seniors to drink more water Remember that there are many sources of fluids. People don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Keep water close by at all times. Experiment with beverages at different temperatures. Try something savory. Make popsicles. Offer smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, sports drinks .
Researchers say that as people age , they need to drink more water to compensate for changes in their body temperature regulation. They say dehydration can cause a number of ailments, including muscle pain, fatigue, and heat exhaustion.
Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating — you can lower the sugar content by diluting them with water . Coffee and tea also count in your tally. Many used to believe that they were dehydrating, but that myth has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.
A simple way to gauge your level of hydration is to pay attention to the color of your urine. If your urine is very dark and has a strong odor, you are definitely dehydrated and should increase your water intake. If your urine is completely clear, you are likely drinking too much.
Here are a few ways to help prevent dehydration in the elderly : Encourage them to drink throughout the day. Rather than consuming a large amount of fluids all at once, seniors should drink throughout the day. Offer foods high in water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Find a beverage they enjoy.