Symptoms of Dehydration in Seniors and How to Help

by JFS Care
symptoms of dehydration in seniors - home health agency in burbank
Recognize and prevent dehydration in seniors with these tips.

Did you know…dehydration in seniors impacts as many as half of all older adults, based on a new scientific study conducted at UCLA? Not just that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest category of hospital admissions as a consequence of dehydration.  

Dehydration can very quickly sneak up on older adults, who frequently have a decreased sensation of thirst, who may experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or who mistakenly believe that drinking less will lessen incontinence issues. 

Dehydration in seniors can be very harmful, increasing the risk for health concerns including:  

  • UTIs 
  • Kidney stones and/or failure 
  • Blood clots 
  • Seizures 
  • Hypovolemic shock 
  • And many others 

 Dehydration is usually detected by the following symptoms: 

Early stages: 

  • Reduced amount/darker-colored urine 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or lethargy 
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Irritability 

Advanced stages: 

  • Confusion and disorientation, such as difficulty with walking 
  • Low blood pressure and diminished, faster pulse and breathing 
  • Stomach bloating 
  • Sunken, dry eyes 
  • Skin that is wrinkled without having any elasticity 
  • Worsened muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions 

Even though we commonly pay more attention to hydration when the temperature is high, it’s crucial for older adults to drink sufficient fluids regardless of the weather. A quick and easy formula to determine just how much, generally, an older adult ought to drink each day is to divide the older adult’s body weight by three, and have him/her take in that many ounces of water. As an example, if a senior weighs 180 pounds, he or she would need to have a minimum of 60 ounces of water every day. 

Try these tips to ensure the older adults you love stay healthy and hydrated:  

  • Plain water is ideal, but think about other sources of fluids, including soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. That said, eliminate sugary and caffeinated beverages.  
  • Place bottled water, or a small pitcher of ice water and cup, next to the older adult to remind him or her to sip on it during the day. 
  • Test various temperatures. In some cases a warmed cup of water may be more comforting than an icy one. You can even try heating up juice and various other beverages to determine if they’re more appealing, or offer popsicles. 

As the top home health agency in Burbank, all of the caregivers at JFS Care are experienced in imaginative ways to help seniors stay hydrated, along with monitoring fluid intake to make certain adequate fluids are consumed daily. Call us at (213) 383-2273 to learn exactly how our home care services can help improve the health of your loved ones, right in the convenience and familiarity of home. Visit our Service Area page for a full listing of locations we serve.