Dehydration in the Elderly
One of the biggest reasons people relocate to Arizona is our wonderful weather and the Natural Beauty our state has to offer. However, in the summer months when the temperature can break the 110 F mark, dehydration can be a problem for adults and especially for the elderly.
For caregivers, the early warning signs of dehydration can be difficult to detect in patients. Chronic dehydration in the elderly can increase risk for constipation, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, medication side effects due to toxicity and even kidney stones.
Family members and caregivers should recognize the early warning signs of dehydration: Fatigue, dizziness, excessive thirst, headaches and confusion, dark urine, dry mouth and even muscle/leg cramps –
TIPS TO HELP PREVENT DEHYDRATION IN THE ELDERLY
• Encourage patients to drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day, versus drinking a large amount all at once
• Five 8 oz glasses of water per day is generally a good goal to reach daily
• Avoid coffee, alcohol because they have a diuretic effect and actually promote water/fluid loss
• Foods high in water content, like fresh fruits, vegetables, can help the elderly meet there daily water needs.