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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 are not getting as much water as they need. The elderly are particularly at 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 loved one is getting 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 is not 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 non-medical home care. North Broward, Florida, 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 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 will not sweat even if they are doing intense activity. 

Aches and 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 feel like a throbbing sensation behind the eyes.

Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The North Broward 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 and Fatigue

The brain cannot work well when it is not getting enough water, so seniors who are routinely dehydrated will not have optimal cognitive function. In milder cases, this may just mean your loved one is not operating at his or her best level, but in 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 and 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 stave off dehydration and several other health conditions by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. North Broward families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary senior care plans and how they can benefit your loved one, give us a call at 954-906-5161 today.

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