November 24, 2015 by
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more water than he or she takes in. Sounds simple, but it’s a very serious problem, one that can be particularly dangerous for older adults. Because the mechanisms that regulate thirst, sweat, and heat change as we age, the way we regulate our fluid intake needs to change as well. “It’s a very complicated pattern. Regulation of salt and water gets to be a bit abnormal as we grow older and we don’t perceive thirst as well,” says Dr. David R. Thomas of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at St. Louis University School of Medicine.
So how can you ensure your senior loved ones are staying hydrated?
Take note of these 7 warning signs of dehydration:
- No sweat in armpits
- Dry eyes
- Low blood pressure
- Dry tongue
- Dark colored urine
- Feeling weak/dizzy
- Heart palpitations
If these signs are noticed, check in with the physician; and seek medical attention immediately if there are the additional symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea for 2 days or more, confusion, fainting, difficulty breathing, a fever higher than 101 degrees, or dramatically reduced urine output.
With regular in-home care from At Home Independent Living, we can monitor your senior loved one’s fluid intake and watch for signs of dehydration to prevent the serious complications that dehydration can cause. Contact us to learn more about our home care services and how they can help your loved one maintain optimum health and independence at home.