How to Tell if an Older Adult Is Dehydrated

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The human body is made up almost entirely of water, but many seniors don’t get as much water as they need. Elderly people are at higher risk for dehydration because the body is less sensitive to thirst as it ages. It can be difficult to notice when a senior is dehydrated, so you need to make sure your aging loved one is drinking at least eight cups of water each day. Keep an eye out for the following signs of dehydration. 

Dark Urine

The color of urine is generally an indicator of a senior’s overall hydration levels. A clear or light yellow color signifies your loved one is getting enough water, while bright yellow or dark yellow means he or she is dehydrated. 

If your loved one’s urine is such a deep yellow that it looks almost brown, he or she may be dehydrated enough to require emergency treatment. You may also notice your loved one isn’t using the bathroom as much as he or she used to. 

Keeping your loved one hydrated not only promotes his or her overall health, but it can also prevent serious health conditions. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Dry Skin

Dehydration makes skin very dry because the body tries to reserve water supplies. It might be cool to the touch and take on a paler appearance. Due to dryness in the skin around the eyes, the eyes may take on a sunken appearance. If you lightly pinch the skin on the back of your loved one’s hand, it will stay ridged instead of smoothing back out if he or she is dehydrated. Seniors who are dehydrated typically won’t sweat even if they’re doing intense activity.

Aches & Cramps

Without enough water, no part of the body can function properly. The muscles react to dehydration by cramping at random moments. 

Due to a combination of muscle cramps and nerve issues, dehydrated seniors frequently report headaches. These headaches tend to be long-lasting, and they often cause a throbbing sensation behind the eyes.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Montgomery live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Confusion & Fatigue

The brain cannot work well when it isn’t getting enough water, so seniors who are routinely dehydrated won’t have optimal cognitive function. In milder cases, this may just mean your loved one isn’t operating at his or her best level, but with more severe dehydration, your loved one might act like he or she has dementia. Some seniors may react by getting irritable, while others may be sleepy and confused. 

Dizziness & Fainting

Seniors who are dehydrated may feel dizzy and drowsy, and some might even lose consciousness. The loss of consciousness is typically linked with seeing dark spots in front of the eyes or having a narrowed field of vision. 

If your loved one reports any of these symptoms, make sure he or she sits down to prevent a fall. Seek medical treatment immediately if your loved one is experiencing dizziness. 

Older adults can avoid dehydration and several other health conditions by making healthy lifestyle choices. In Montgomery, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call (334) 593-3988 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.


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