Main points: Older people are more susceptible to dehydration than younger people. This is partly due to lack of thirst sensation and changes in the water and sodium balance that naturally occur as people age.
Body function. Your kidneys may not work as effectively with age, leading to a fluid imbalance in your body. Since your body has less water composition as you age, you become dehydrated much quicker than when you were younger.
The following risk factors are most commonly identified with dehydrated older adults:
As we age, it decreases to 50-55% and body fat increases. This lower level of body fluid, a reduced ability to conserve water and a diminished thirst sensation make seniors more susceptible to dehydration – which occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in.
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.
6 ways to get seniors to drink more water
How to help older adults to stay hydrated?
Why is dehydration more serious for older adults? Older adults tend to take more medications as they get older which can cause serious dehydration, a persons sense of thirst becomes less acurate as they age, and as we age our bodies kidneys are less able to conserve fluids.
Hydration is vital because it keeps electrolytes balanced, blood volume normal, aids in digestion, transportation of nutrients, and kidney functioning. And if your elderly loved one becomes dehydrated, they have the added risk of mental confusion.
Here are a few ways to help prevent dehydration in the elderly:
The sensation of thirst decreases with age, as does the amount of water in our bodies, which makes seniors more at risk for dehydration.
Here’s Why. 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.