Older adults have less water in their bodies to start with than younger adults or children. Water is necessary for nearly every bodily function, from lubricating joints to regulating body temperature and pumping blood to the muscles. So not getting enough of it can have serious health consequences.
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.
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.
Signs of dehydration include:
Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
If dehydration isn’t treated, it can lead to serious complications, such as: urinary and kidney problems, including urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and even kidney failure. seizures due to low levels of potassium and sodium. heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Why are seniors at risk for dehydration? The natural aging process weakens the body’s ability to signal it does not have enough fluid. This means older adults don’t feel as thirsty as younger people do, and they may not realize they need to drink water.
Experts generally recommend that older adults consume at least 1.7 liters of fluid per 24 hours. This corresponds to 57.5 fluid ounces, or 7.1 cups.
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?
You need water to digest your food and get rid of waste. Water is needed for digestive juices, urine (pee), and poop. And you can bet that water is the main ingredient in perspiration, also called sweat. Besides being an important part of the fluids in your body, water is needed by each cell to work.
Fluid helps to protect and cushion joints and organs. Fluid helps to prevent dehydration. Dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, confusion and irritability. Fluid helps your kidneys work to produce urine and remove waste from the body.
Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include: