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.
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.
6 ways to get seniors to drink more water
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.
Here are a few ways to help prevent dehydration in the elderly:
Top Signs of Dehydration in Seniors
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.
For the elderly patient who has undergone uncomplicated surgery, early resumption of oral intake is the best approach to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. During the immediate postoperative period, ongoing fluid losses from all sites, including insensible losses, should be replaced meticulously.
10 Symptoms of Dehydration
Pedialyte is an over-the-counter (OTC) oral rehydration drink that’s effective for all age groups, including children over the age of 1, adults, and older adults. It targets electrolyte imbalances caused by dehydration.
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.
Special Considerations for Older People Water is ultimately the best way to stay hydrated for older people, although Gatorade could be used to stimulate thirst due to its sodium content. Older people should drink small amounts continuously throughout the day, not a massive amount all at once.
If you’re worried about your or someone else’s hydration status, here are the 5 best ways to rehydrate quickly.
The St. Andrews team found that beverages with a little sugar, fat or protein did a better job than water of keeping the men hydrated. Skim milk — which has a little fat, some protein, the sugar lactose and some sodium— did the best job of hydrating the participants.
Elders tend not to want to drink much because it might mean more trips to the bathroom than they may want to make due to decreased mobility or the fear of falling on the way. Aging can also lead to a reduced sensation of thirst so that our senior loved ones do not feel the need to drink enough fluids.