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Symptoms of Dehydration in Seniors

Did you know that many older adults don’t feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated? Our body compositions change with age, and seniors have less water in their bodies when compared with younger people. It’s important to frequently replenish that already low supply of water to prevent serious health problems. Scroll down to better understand the symptoms of dehydration in seniors.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Seniors

Dehydration can happen much quicker than you might think. If you’re in your sunset years, it’s important to frequently drink water, especially on very hot days and during workouts. In addition, check in with yourself frequently and listen to your body. If you notice any of the following signs of dehydration, take action right away. You may be able to recover quickly if you have mild or moderate dehydration, but seek immediate medical attention if you have severe dehydration.

So what are the symptoms of dehydration in seniors? The following signs indicate that your body is lacking water:

  • Thirst that feels like it can’t be quenched
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Dry cough
  • Infrequent urination
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Dry eyes
  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flushed skin

But those aren’t the only symptoms of dehydration. If your body’s water content is severely low, you may experience more severe issues. Seek medication attention right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours
  • Irritability and disorientation
  • Severe fatigue that seems to have no cause
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Chills or heat intolerance
  • Bloody or black stool

Things That May Lead to Dehydration

Certain medical issues can increase our risk of experiencing dehydration, including a variety of illnesses and long-term health conditions. For example, if you experience any of the following, be sure to drink lots of water as you’re at an increased risk of dehydration:

  • Diarrhea/Vomiting: Both cause your body to lose fluid, electrolytes, and minerals, which can exacerbate dehydration symptoms.
  • Sweating: Your body loses moisture when you sweat, so it’s important to replenish its water supply frequently. Take care if you’re outside on a hot day or exercising.
  • Frequent Urination: Some medications (diuretics) can lead to increased urination, as can undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes. Pay attention to how often you’re using the bathroom.
  • Fever: High fevers can lead to dehydration through perspiration. In addition, many diseases and disorders that cause fevers can also cause dehydration.

Avoiding Dehydration

Fortunately, avoiding dehydration really is as simple as drinking more fluids! Water is ideal, but if you find it a little boring sometimes, consider adding some sliced fruit, such as lemons, cucumbers, strawberries, or oranges. You could also add herbs like mint and basil, or look for a fun flavored seltzer. Other beverages work too, but they may present other health concerns. For example, although fruit juices and soda can increase your hydration, they’re also very high in sugar. And while caffeinated tea, coffee, and alcohol are okay in moderation, they can actually have a diuretic effect, so they’re not great options when trying to increase your fluid intake.

In addition, remember that some foods contain lots of water. Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content, from watermelon, oranges, and cucumbers to bell peppers and celery. You could also eat more broth-based soups.

Because seniors can’t always count on thirst as a reminder to drink more fluid, try to make a habit of sipping consistently throughout the day. Chugging down a full glass of water may be intimidating, but if you take small sips throughout your day, you can keep your hydration levels high.

Happy hydrating!

Are you looking for a premier assisted living and memory care community in the heart of downtown Greenville, South Carolina? Come visit us at Waterstone on Augusta. Our community is both relaxing and elegant, and we strive to enhance the quality of life of the seniors we serve through teamwork and unity. To learn more about our amenities and to view our lovely community, please schedule a tour online or call us today at 864-605-7236.