Consequences of Dehydration in the Elderly

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Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than it takes in; the body doesn’t have enough fluids to function properly. Elders have a lesser amount of water in their bodies which reduces their normal body functions including temperature regulation, joints lubrication, and getting rid of wastes.

As age increases, the need for hydration also increases. The most common electrolyte and fluid problems for the elderly lead to infections, cerebral vascular accidents, hypodypsia, and several other functional issues. Elders experience a lot of changes as they age including a reduced sensation of thirst which might be common for those with Alzheimer’s or those who have suffered a stroke. 

What are the Symptoms of Dehydration?

Your body does a lot for you. It can even be an alarm, reminding you to drink water in intervals. And, even then, if you won’t, it will make your mouth, lips, and tongue dry, sunken eyes, inelastic and dry skin, dizziness, and low blood pressure. Urine is also considered to be an indicator of the hydration levels in the body. Odorless and pale urine indicates good hydration while concentrated and smelling urine is a mark of a poorly dehydrated body. Keeping a track of the right volumes of fluid intake is a good guide to ensuring accurate levels of hydration in the human body.

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What to do to Prevent Dehydration?

Prevention is always better than cure. There are various ways through which one can assure to reduce the risk of dehydration. Monitoring the elder’s home health care routine is important to track the frequency of their liquid intake.

In some cases, one may be worried about various barriers to drinking including not reaching toilets in time, inability to make or have water/liquids, and reduced desire to drink or stay hydrated. To help elders in such issues, home nursing services can play a major part, looking after the elder’s full-time needs. 

Offering the elders a variety of hot and cold fluids, providing them special cups to assist in easy-drinking, giving the fluids they love, offering innovative drinks for them to enjoy drinking can be a few easy to go strategies to keep the elders hydrated.

What are the Consequences of Dehydration?

A dehydrated body can fall prey to various problems including low blood pressure, increased risk of falls, weakness, and dizziness. A poorly hydrated body often develops various skin issues like dryness, wrinkles, sagging skin, acne, flakiness, and many such problems.

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Inadequate fluid intake can often lead to constipation. For individuals who are not hydrated, increasing the fluid intake can increase the stool frequency, bringing the body functions back on track. In some cases where the fluid intake is less than required, the risk of urinary tract infection increases. Dehydration can often be a cause for acute kidney disorders.

Elders are generally reluctant to drink water to avoid the need to go to the washroom, specifically at night, but restricting the fluid intake does not reduce the urinary frequency. For people living alone, or for people who need special care, their families can look up to home care services to provide an aiding hand to the elders. 

Mild dehydration, too, can hamper the mental performance and can lead to increased feelings of fatigue and tiredness. Adequate water intake helps in keeping the mind and body stable, allowing the body to function normally.

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What are the Easy Hacks to Prevent Dehydration?

Do you find drinking normal water boring? Try adding a slice of lemon to bring in the taste. Drink small sips of water if you can drink a full glass of water all at once. Include more foods with high water content like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, or try increasing the soup intake. 

If you are there care partner from home care services, keep reminding them to drink water, and keep water in places that are easily accessible for them. Make sure they don’t hesitate in drinking water to prevent going to the toilet. 

Reach out to us on our toll-free number 1800-123-445555 in case you have any queries regarding the hydration needs of your body.

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