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Dehydration in the Elderly

Now that the weather is finally beginning to get warmer, staying hydrated is as important as ever, especially in older adults. Since our bodies are made up mostly of water, it’s crucial to refuel them in order to maintain basic body functions. At Carespring’s skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky, we take hydration very seriously. Read more about dehydration and how to maintain proper hydration below!

What Is It?

When our bodies give out more water than we’re putting in them, we can start to feel the symptoms of dehydration. Dizziness and high heart rate are some of the symptoms caused by lack of water. Dehydration is especially common in older adults due to medication side effects, lack of thirst, and inability to recognize changes in body temperature. There are serious consequences if dehydration goes untreated, such as hospitalization or worsening of existing illnesses. 

Things to know:

Dehydration can sneak up on us! It’s important to make hydration a habit to avoid the side effects and symptoms of dehydration. Here are some signs of dehydration:

  • If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink water or your beverage of choice slowly and consistently.
  • The color of urine can indicate dehydration if it is bright or dark yellow. Hydrated urine is pale yellow. However, medications and vitamins can sometimes interfere with the color of urine, so make sure to consult your doctor.
  • There are certain conditions that can exacerbate dehydration, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of dehydration.

Consider some of these tips to staying hydrated all year long:

  • Make sure to drink a full glass of water each time you take your medication. This way staying hydrated becomes a habit that will be easy to remember.
  • Drinking water doesn’t have to be a chore. Water is in everything! Drinking flavored drinks like decaffeinated tea, smoothies, or flavored water are tasty drinks that will keep you hydrated. If you occasionally drink alcohol, it’s always important to accompany it with a glass of water. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks can cause you to feel dehydrated quickly.
  • You don’t have to strictly drink water in order to stay hydrated. There are many foods that have a high water content. Adapting these foods into every meal will substantially increase your water intake without having to think about drinking. Foods like cucumbers, pineapple, grapes, tomatoes, beets, carrots and celery are great meal additions to keep you hydrated.