Signs of Dehydration in Older Adults

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Seniors face a high risk of dehydration because it is more difficult for them to notice thirst signals from their bodies. Mild dehydration can make daily functioning difficult, while a severely low water intake may be deadly. If you notice any of the following signs of dehydration, make sure your senior loved one increases his or her water intake or seeks medical treatment.

Dry Skin 

One of the simplest ways to check for dehydration is to lightly pinch the skin on the back of the hands. Dehydrated seniors will have such dry skin that it stands up in a ridge instead of immediately bouncing back to its normal position. Dry skin will also cause seniors to have a sunken look around the eyes. During warm temperatures or physical activities, dehydrated seniors may not sweat.

Dehydration is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home elderly care. Prescott families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Difficulty Using the Bathroom 

The body uses water to flush out toxins constantly, but without enough water seniors may not urinate or defecate regularly. Encourage your loved one to drink more water if he or she is constipated or not urinating often. When dehydrated seniors use the bathroom, they may notice their urine has a dark color and their stool is hard or broken into several small pieces.

Fatigue 

Inadequate water intake can leave seniors feeling tired and fatigued. They may feel sleepy even after getting adequate rest, or they might respond to the fatigue by acting irritated. 

Increasing fluid intake is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices that can lower the risk of dehydration and fatigue. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional home caregiver. Prescott families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Cramps and Headaches 

Dehydration can cause both headaches and muscle cramps, so make sure your loved one increases his or her water intake to prevent these issues. Most cramps develop in the lower legs, but some of them can also occur throughout the rest of the body. For some seniors, stomach cramps cause nausea or gastrointestinal upset.

Dizziness and Confusion 

Seniors with moderate dehydration may feel dizzy or nauseous, especially when standing. The brain cannot function properly without water, making dehydrated seniors feel confused or groggy. Dizziness and confusion can make it challenging for seniors to walk and balance. If the symptoms are severe, seek medical treatment instead of just giving your loved one a glass of water.

Heart Rate and Blood Pressure Changes 

If you suspect dehydration, check your loved one’s pulse. Dehydrated seniors tend to have a very rapid heart rate. It can be helpful to monitor your loved one’s blood pressure levels because dehydration can cause them to drop. Keep an eye out for these symptoms of dehydration because they may be a sign your loved one needs to visit the hospital.

When left untreated, dehydration can lead to major medical conditions. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in home care. Prescott seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a customized in-home care plan for your senior loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 928-771-0105 today.

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