Dehydration happens when the body doesn’t have enough fluids. This can occur because of not taking in enough fluids to make up for fluids that are lost. For example, on a hot day, a senior may sweat more. If they don’t drink extra liquids to make up for the fluid loss, they could become dehydrated. In fact, seniors become dehydrated more easily than younger people do.
Part of the reason is that their bodies naturally contain less fluids, to begin with. In addition, many seniors take medications that increase the chances of becoming dehydrated. Because of the added risk, it’s important that caregivers be able to recognize the signs of dehydration. Below are some common signs of dehydration.
Thirst is the body’s way of letting a person know it needs more liquids. However, when it comes to seniors, it isn’t a good idea to wait until they feel thirsty to offer them a drink. By then, they may already be dehydrated. That’s because seniors don’t feel thirst as acutely as younger people.
Studies indicate that when a person is dehydrated, they may feel tired even after having rested. This may occur because blood pressure sometimes drops because of dehydration. As a result, staying hydrated may help your aging relative to have more energy.
Even mild dehydration can cause a headache. In one study, women reported headaches when they were only a little over 13 percent dehydrated. The headaches could also be caused by a dip on blood pressure.
Dry Mouth and Tongue
Your older family member may complain that their mouth or tongue feels dry. They may try sucking on hard candies to stimulate saliva when what they really need is water.
Darkly Colored Urine or Less Urine
When a senior is properly hydrated, their urine should be a very light yellow color or even clear. Dehydration causes urine to be a darker color. You might also notice that they need to urinate less often than usual.
When they aren’t getting enough liquids, seniors may become dizzy. This is, of course, dangerous as it may lead to a fall. You may notice the older adult grabbing on to things to steady themselves when they stand or walk.
Senior care can help to prevent dehydration in your older family member. Throughout the day, a senior care provider can offer them water or other beverages to ensure they drink enough. Senior care providers can also prepare foods and snacks that contain more liquid, such as a slice of watermelon or a bowl of soup.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Palo Alto, CA, please contact the caring staff at Care America HomeCARE Services today. (877) 322-7326
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