It's the first day of spring but feels like summer has already arrived. All across the country we are experiencing record temperatures. It is so important to have proper hydration and this is especially true for anyone over the age of 65. Not drinking enough fluids can cause many unwanted symptoms, complications from an existing illness and may account for numerous hospitalizations of older adults each year.
There are many reasons why senior adults have a greater risk of dehydration:
As we age our bodies have less water and our kidney's have more difficulty maintaining fluid balance.
Senior adults have less thirst sensations.
Medications can cause increased fluid losses. Diuretics, laxatives and sedatives require close monitoring of fluid intake.
Some may intentionally restrict fluids with the hopes of decreasing incontinence.
There are those that need assistance due to mobility and may be reluctant to ask for help.
Infections like pneumonia, COPD and urinary tract may increase the need for fluids due to fevers and overproduction of mucus.
Vomiting, diarrhea, over-aggressive diuretic therapy and non compliance to medication regimens can increase dehydration complications as well.
Signs of dehydration:
Diarrhea and vomiting
Increase in urination
Increase in thirst
Does your loved one have any of the above mentioned hydration risk factors?
Lethargic, dizziness or vomiting and headaches could all be signs of dehydration. Call your doctor if you observe any of these symptoms or when necessary dial 911.
Track your loved ones water intake daily. Keep in mind that regular tea and coffee doesn't count because they promote fluid loss. Decaf is better because it is less likely to increase urination. There are some diseases in which it is not appropriate to offer so many fluids so always consult and follow the advice of your physician. For most of us however staying hydrated is essential to good health.
Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled at home since 1994, Call to discuss your specific needs, 770-442-8664 or visit us at: www.easylivingservices.com