Dehydration is a common condition that affects many people over the age of 65. Because the symptoms of elderly dehydration are masked by the aging body, patients and caregivers typically overlook the warnings signs until it is too late. But, dehydration can be avoided if you are careful and know what the symptoms are.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a condition when the body is losing more water than it is taking in. Loss of water can be due to medications, illnesses, inability to move around easily, diminished sense of thirst, or reduced kidney function. At times, seniors are dependent on caregivers who may not realize they are not taking in enough fluids.
- Dark or malodorous urine
- Decrease in urine output
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic fatigue and lethargy
- Weak muscles and/or muscle cramps
- Weakness or Dizziness
- Wrinkled or sagging skin
- Dry mouth
- Sudden problems with mobility
- Low blood pressure or severe change in blood pressure when standing up
- Rapid resting heart rate
- Irregularity in body temperature (too cold or feeling hot without producing sweat)
- Inability to produce tears
- “Sunken” eyes
How can dehydration be prevented?
- Keep a water bottle or two next to your client or loved one
- Coffee, tea and lemonade all contain water
- Be educated about the medications your client or loved one is taking. Some of them might be diuretics which means more fuids need to be consumed daily
- Fruits, vegetable and soups are a great source of hydration that can be added to meals
American In-Home Care understands the challenges of staying hydrated and preparing healthy meals as we age. We use proven techniques to prepare nutritious meals at home that are not only eaten, but welcomed by clients.