Health professionals can diagnose water-loss dehydration by taking a blood sample and measuring serum osmolality, but a less-invasive test would be useful. Evidence that tests, clinical signs or questions tested to date are useful when screening for dehydration in older people is limited.
Assess for clinical signs and symptoms of dehydration, including thirst, weight loss, dry mucous membranes, sunken-appearing eyes, decreased skin turgor, increased capillary refill time, hypotension and postural hypotension, tachycardia, weak and thready peripheral pulses, flat neck veins when the patient is in the
Hydration assessment techniques include 1) total body water measured by isotope dilution or estimated by bioelectrical impedance analysis, 2) plasma markers, such as osmolality,sodium, hematocrit and hemoglobin changes, or the concentrations of hormones that help regulate body fluids, 3) urine markers, such as
Look out for symptoms like dry mouth, fatigue, dark-colored urine, and lightheadedness. Treating dehydration involves replacing lost fluids. You can work to prevent dehydration by making sure you regularly take in fluids throughout the day. This can include water, juices, broths, or foods with high water content.
Signs of dehydration include:
A simple and common test for hydration status is a visual check of urine color. While dark colored urine is certainly one indication of potentially being dehydrated and clear urine can be a sign of a hydrated state, this method is often unreliable and is latent in its indication.
Further imaging: this could include a chest X-ray to assess for pulmonary oedema, an echocardiogram to assess cardiac function or an abdominal ultrasound to rule out ascites. Accurate fluid balance: including daily weights, urine output, fluid intake and stool chart. 3
Experts say a quick urine check could be the most effective DIY way to tell how hydrated you are. Simply look at the color of your urine. If it’s pale yellow, you’re hydrated. If it’s a darker yellow, it’s time for a glass of water (or two).
How to help older adults to stay hydrated?
6 ways to get seniors to drink more water
10 Symptoms of Dehydration
Here are a few ways to help prevent dehydration in the elderly: