Four Helpful Facts about Dehydration and Older Adults

Your elderly family member might at some point experience dehydration. There is a lot that you need to know about dehydration in order to recognize it and to help your senior to deal with the effects of even mild dehydration. These tips can help.

Simply Being Older Can Contribute to Dehydration

Senior Care Glenview, IL: Signs of Dehydration

Age creates big changes in your senior’s body and in how she reacts to specific situations. For instance, her ability to sense thirst changes as she grows older, so she may not be as aware when she’s thirsty. Kidney and bladder function can also change with age, making elimination more difficult or even more unpredictable. All these issues combine to make dehydration more likely for her unless she’s actively paying attention to what she’s drinking.

Medications and Health Conditions Can Also Contribute
Health conditions, such as kidney disease and other issues, can affect how efficiently your senior’s body moves liquids through her body. If she frequently has infections or other illnesses that can cause a fever, she may be dehydrated more frequently. Some medications, especially diuretic medications, can also cause your elderly family member’s body to release more water than her body needs to lose. Stay alert to how her medications affect her body so that you can either talk to her doctor about making changes or compensate in other ways.

If Your Senior Is Less Active, She’s More Susceptible
Activity causes your senior to sweat and to become thirstier, so you might think that the more active she is the more susceptible she is to dehydration. But the reverse can be true, too. If your elderly family member’s activity level has slowed way down, she may not be as mobile at home as she used to be. That can lead to her avoiding getting up for something to drink, even when she’s thirsty.

Finding Answers Is Possible
Every situation is different, of course. What’s causing or compounding the problems your senior is having with dehydration may be different from what other people are experiencing. What is important is that you remain alert for signs of dehydration so that you can take action quickly. If you suspect that your senior’s health or medications are causing dehydration, make sure you talk to her doctor.

Keeping track of your senior’s water intake is an important part of ensuring she’s getting enough each day. Senior care providers can help you to make sure that you’re getting accurate information about what and when your senior is drinking.

Excerpt: Dehydration is unfortunately common for aging family members.

 

If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Glenview, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.

Jamie Shapiro

Jamie Shapiro, founder of Companion Services of America, LLC received a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. Jamie started her career in psychiatric social work at Northwestern University Institute of Psychiatry. Later, she went on to become the Director of Social Services at Belmont Community Hospital where she developed discharge planning procedures to assist staff in identifying potential patients requiring intervention.