Dehydration and Seniors

Tips on Prevention and Treatment

Staying hydrated is so important for everyone, but especially more important for seniors.

A lot of seniors will just sometimes forget to drink enough and that makes it even harder to ensure they are hydrated. For seniors, good hydration ensures their medications work properly.

Some health risks that come with dehydration:

  • shock
  • heatstroke
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • kidney failure or stones
  • urinary tract infections.

Of course, these can happen in anyone, but when you’re older you can’t fight them off like you used to.

Also, when you’re older you don’t realize you’re dehydrated because seniors have less efficient kidneys so the urine contains more water and seniors have a decreased ability to keep fluids in balance with their bodies.

Tips for Prevention and Treatment of dehydration in Seniors

Symptoms of dehydration

Here are some of the symptoms of dehydration. There are mild and severe symptoms; mild symptoms can usually be rectified by you or someone else, severe symptoms require medical assistance.

Mild Symptoms

  1. Dry mouth
  2. Tiredness
  3. Infrequent urination
  4. Dizziness
  5. Headaches
  6. Irritability

The best way to treat mild dehydration is by replacing the lost fluids with drinking water or another liquid containing electrolytes.

Do NOT drink sugary liquids such as sodas.

Severe Symptoms

  1. Bloated stomach
  2. Low blood pressure
  3. Convulsions
  4. Severe cramping
  5. Confusion
  6. Dry, sunken eyes

The only way to treat severe symptoms of dehydration is by an IV with electrolytes and salt.

PLEASE seek immediate medical assistance.

How much water do seniors need?

You can figure how much water you need to drink pretty easily; you divide your body weight in half to get the number of ounces you need to drink a day.

For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would need to drink 80 ounces of water. A glass holds 8 ounces, so you would need to drink 10 glasses of water a day.

Benefits of drinking enough water

Drinking enough water can help keep you healthy, but can also help with the following:

  • Less constipation
  • Fewer falls
  • Less urinary tract infections
  • Reduced risk of colorectal cancer

If you’re planning on being outside, especially here in Ormond Beach, Florida, your water intake will need to be considerably higher. The heat and sun can drain your body of the fluids you need and you can become dehydrated quickly.

Do not drink cold water too quickly, it can actually make you sick as it can cause your body to go into shock. This is rare and pretty severe, but it can happen. So just be careful.

I always drink room temperature water when on the golf course. One day it was extremely hot and I thought I’d take some cold water, BIG mistake.

Yes, it tasted so good and it was very refreshing, but I drank it so quickly that I was sick to my stomach and almost vomited. I stick with the room temperature water from now on and have iced tea when I go inside.

Please make sure your loved one stays hydrated, it’s so important to their health and well-being!

Should you notice signs of dehydration, PLEASE seek assistance immediately!!

Stay hydrated my friends!!!

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