Dehydration in seniors is a bigger problem than most people realize. If the elderly become severely dehydrated, it can lead to low blood pressure, kidney problems, and even coma or eventually death. Getting enough fluids is often as easy as taking a few sips of water frequently. So, why is it a problem among the elderly and how do you prevent your loved one from being dehydrated?
The reason the elderly is more at risk for becoming dehydrated is that it often comes down to recognizing the feeling of thirst and then needing to tell someone what they need. For a wheelchair or bed-bound person, they may feel like it’s too much trouble to ask for a glass of water since they don’t want to be a bother. Those living with dementia may not remember to drink and others may become dehydrated as a result of certain medications. Sometimes, certain medical conditions, such as those who have suffered a stroke, make it difficult to recognize thirst.
Some signs that your aging loved one is becoming dehydrated include:
- Dry tongue, mouth, or chapped lips
- Dry skin
- Extremely dark urine
- Sunken eyes
- Muscle cramps
- Trouble sleeping
- Confusion or feeling disorientated
Prevent dehydration by first knowing how much fluids they drink each day. Some medical conditions or medications will require more or less water but generally speaking, the elderly need to consume at least 57.5 ounces/6 to 8 glasses of fluids every 24 hours. Keeping a record of fluid intake is especially important for elderly who live alone. Prevent dehydration by taking these steps:
- Always make non-sugary, non-caffeinated liquids available and easily accessible.
- If it is difficult to drink from the cup, offer a straw or a special type of cup that makes it easier.
- Mix water with a bit of fruit juice.
- Don’t keep nagging them about how they need to drink. Instead, make the beverage look enjoyable or downright irresistible.
- Offer them a drink that they can sip over a period of time and place it within reach.
- Encourage drinking liquids early in the day, so they don’t have to worry about getting up during the night.
Regency Home Care Atlanta helps the aging and their family members enjoy a good quality of life for Senior Care in Atlanta, by helping with personalized care. This includes home visits and providing transportation to and from appointments. Our caring experts come alongside the help of family members and doctor’s orders. We offer in home Senior Care Atlanta that you can depend on and trust. We help aging seniors stay as independent as possible for as long as they can.
Contact us for more information on private duty and personalized home care in Atlanta. We are your partner in Atlanta Elderly Care to help with senior concerns including staying as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Let us help with their daily needs, preparing nutritious meals, and making sure they stay properly hydrated.