Causes of Dehydration in Seniors

Causes of Dehydration in Seniors

It’s summer, and it’s time to pay extra attention to being hydrated. That means making sure that you monitor the causes of  dehydration in seniors. Make sure your loved ones drink enough water to maintain good health. Hot weather can be a stressor for the elderly, and combine that with not drinking enough water on a regular and daily basis, and dangerous health conditions can result.

Why We Dehydrate

  • As we age, the fluid reserve in our bodies become smaller, and the sense of thirst may be diminished.
  • If a patient uses certain medications, such as diuretics which cause more urination, the patient needs to counter the loss of fluids by drinking water.
  • Diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure will also cause the patient to be vulnerable to a lack of water.
  • Dementia may cause an elderly person to be unaware of their thirst.
  • Mobility problems may limit an elder’s ability to get something to drink.

What should you drink to prevent dehydration?

Water is the best choice. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes are good for you too.   Caffeine in coffee, tea and sodas may actually cause more urination and lead to more fluid loss. Beer, alcohol and sodas are not recommended when trying to prevent dehydration.

How much water should you drink? Men should drink 13 cups of water each day, and women should drink 9 cups of water each day, according to the Institute of Medicine quoted on the website of the Mayo Clinic. That water can come from a variety of foods and beverages, besides water itself. Milk and juice can take the place of water. Juicy fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, watermelon or cantaloupe, have lots of fluid in them too.   However, be careful not to have so much fruit or fruit juice that the patient has diarrhea.  Diarrhea results in a loss of bodily fluids.

Continue reading Signs of Dehydration

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