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.
Sometimes dehydration occurs for simple reasons: You don’t drink enough because you’re sick or busy, or because you lack access to safe drinking water when you’re traveling, hiking or camping. Other dehydration causes include:
The causes of dehydration include diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating. Individuals more at risk of dehydration include athletes, people at higher altitudes, and older adults. Early symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, lethargy, and dizziness.
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.
If you’re worried about your or someone else’s hydration status, here are the 5 best ways to rehydrate quickly.
Signs of severe dehydration include:
Signs of dehydration include:
If you’re chronically dehydrated, you can develop other health conditions. Symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, and muscle cramping may continue or worsen as your dehydration progresses. Ongoing dehydration has been linked to: decreased kidney function.
If the problem that caused dehydration is resolved and the person gets the right amount of fluid, mild to moderate dehydration can resolve in less than a day. Severe dehydration or dehydration of long duration should be treated by doctors in a hospital and typically takes 2 to 3 days to resolve with proper treatment.
Causes of refusal to eat and drink may include physiologic changes associated with aging, mental disorders including dementia and depression, medical, social, and environmental factors.
How to help older adults to stay hydrated?
Kidney failure This potentially life-threatening problem occurs when your kidneys are no longer able to remove excess fluids and waste from your blood. Coma and death When not treated promptly and appropriately, severe dehydration can be fatal.
The Best Hydration Drinks
When we lose too much water, our bodies may become out of balance or dehydrated. Most doctors divide dehydration into three stages: 1) mild, 2) moderate and 3) severe.