Dehydration in Seniors: Risks, Symptoms & Prevention
Adults over 60 are one of the most likely groups to suffer from dehydration. And for this growing demographic, that raises some serious health concerns. Dehydrated seniors are at a higher risk for developing infectious disease, stroke, kidney stones, chronic constipation and impaired cognitive function.
Fortunately, dehydration is a manageable disease, and adults who know the warning signs and preventative measures are in a better position to win the battle to stay hydrated.
Why Are Seniors More Likely to Be Dehydrated?
As the body ages, the amount of water in it decreases, and this is one of the main reasons elderly adults are at a higher risk for dehydration. Whereas younger people can afford to lose more water, adults over 60 can lose the same amount and develop dehydration faster.
Plus, several studies have confirmed that when seniors are deprived of water, they feel less thirsty and are more likely to drink less.
Aside from the aforementioned risk factors, several senior groups are more susceptible to dehydration, including:
- Those over 85 years old
- Patients suffering from 5 or more chronic diseases
- Those who take 5 or more medications
- Alzheimer’s patients
- Elderly adults who are bedridden
How Elderly Adults Can Prevent and Reverse Dehydration
Proper hydration starts with drinking enough fluids. In the U.S., adults receive roughly 20 percent of the fluids they need from their food, so water, juices and other beverages contribute a huge portion of the body’s daily fluid needs.
For elderly adults, 5 or more 8-ounce glasses of water are recommended each day. And that number has a special significance, as one study confirmed that seniors who drank the recommended amount of water faced lower rates of fatal heart disease.
Other tips for promoting hydration include:
- Having water, juice or milk with every meal
- Avoiding coffee or alcohol which both speed up dehydration
- Drinking water throughout the day
- And drinking smaller amounts of water more frequently
But water might not be enough, especially for those suffering from moderate, severe or chronic dehydration.
Instead, electrolyte-enhanced water is the better solution. For instance, DripDrop contains a perfect ratio of electrolytes – essential minerals that the body needs -- and studies have shown that DripDrop rehydrates faster and helps the body retain more fluids. It’s a safe, effective and affordable solution.
Seniors have their own set of fluid needs, and it’s imperative that people understand the risk, signs and preventative measures to reverse dehydration in seniors.
Image via Flickr.