Dehydration Becomes More Dangerous for Seniors
Filed under: Hydration
Dehydration is dangerous for everyone, leading to problems with blood pressure regulation, body temperature, urinary tract infections, confusion, weakness, headaches, and more. We all know that dehydration can even lead to death in severe cases, but luckily most of us feel thirsty before serious health consequences arise.
For those over sixty, however, the risk of dehydration becomes more serious. The signs may be less obvious, and the negative effects can take over much more swiftly. Plus, seniors are at increased risk of dehydration due to several factors:
Medications. Some medications act as a diuretic, flushing fluids out of the body.
Decreased kidney function. As we age, our kidneys begin to function and less than optimal levels, and conserve less fluid.
Illness. Vomiting or diarrhea can quickly dehydrate anyone, but those over sixty are particularly susceptible.
Decreased thirst. The sensation of thirst declines with age, and those who rely on caretakers might not be able to communicate their thirst.
So, how much water should you be drinking, especially as you age? Contrary to popular belief, the rule of eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day is just a guideline, not a hard rule. Different people have different fluid needs, based on body size, activity level, health, climate, and medications. A better rule is to observe the color of your urine. If it’s clear to light yellow, you’re well hydrated. Darker yellow urine indicates a need for additional fluids.
For those over sixty, also watch for the following signs of dehydration:
- Difficulty walking
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Inability to sweat or produce tears
- Low urine output
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
A healthy diet of fruits and vegetables can help to prevent dehydration, since these foods are high in water content. Soups and salads should become a part of your regular menu.
Seniors should also follow a hydration program, since we can’t rely on the sense of thirst as we age. Keeping a water bottle nearby and taking sips regularly is a habit we all need to practice, but it becomes even more necessary now.
If you or a loved one notice signs of dehydration that isn’t quickly remedied by drinking a glass of water, a trip to the emergency room might be in order. This is particularly true when the weather is hot, or when other complicating factors (such as advanced age or health problems) are present.
Of course, how much you drink is only one part of the overall solution. It is also important to ensure that your body is properly absorbing the water you do drink. Contact us for more information about our patented iH2O Water Activation System, which allows you to transform ordinary, filtered Water into ultra-hydration, “living water”. The process creates energized bio-available water proven to be essential for optimal hydration and overall wellness.