Older adults are more likely to become dehydrated because they naturally have less water in their bodies. They’re also likely to have health conditions or take medicines that increase their risk of dehydration – like blood pressure medications that flush water from the body.
The bottom line. Older adults are more susceptible to dehydration. There are many reasons for this, including lower fluid content in the body, decreased thirst response, and medications or underlying health conditions. Recognizing the symptoms of dehydration is important so you can work to replace lost fluids.
Mild dehydration can usually be treated by having the person take more fluids by mouth. Generally, it’s best to have the person drink something with some electrolytes, such as a commercial rehydration solution, a sports drink, juice, or even bouillon. But in most cases, even drinking water or tea will help.
Dehydration is the most common fluid and electrolyte problem among the elderly. The usual causes of water loss are frequently absent in dehydrated elderly patients. Age-related changes in total body water, thirst perception, renal concentrating ability, and vasopressin effectiveness probably predispose to dehydration.
Seniors are also at greater risk for dehydration because of how body composition changes with age. Older adults have less water in their bodies to start with than younger adults or children.
Top Signs of Dehydration in Seniors
Hydration in the elderly can be easily managed with these simple tips:
10 Symptoms of Dehydration
If treated quickly and effectively by a qualified medical professional, a senior can expect to make a full recovery from dehydration. If left untreated, however, dehydration can lead to multiple health complications, such as urinary tract issues, kidney stones, and even kidney failure.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
If you’re worried about your or someone else’s hydration status, here are the 5 best ways to rehydrate quickly.
If you are mildly dehydrated, you often will start to feel better within 10 to 15 minutes of drinking water, a sports drink, or juice. For moderate dehydration, you typically will be treated with intravenous hydration in urgent care or the emergency room over the course of a few hours or a day.
Untreated dehydration can lead to life-threatening complications, such as:
Pedialyte and Gatorade are both designed to prevent or treat dehydration. In fact, thanks to their electrolyte content, they’re more effective than water at rehydrating.
Someone with dementia may become dehydrated if they’re unable to communicate or recognise that they’re thirsty, or if they forget to drink. This can lead to headaches, increased confusion, urinary tract infections and constipation. These can make the symptoms of dementia worse.