Shelly stopped in to visit her dad during her lunch break. He answered the door just as he always did, but she noticed he was holding on to the walls and furniture as they walked toward the kitchen. He didn’t normally do that. During their conversation, she also noticed that he seemed confused and he complained of being tired. Concerned, Shelly decided to take him to the urgent care clinic. The doctor examined Shelly’s father and determined that he was dehydrated.
Shelly’s situation isn’t uncommon. Seniors often become dehydrated for a variety of reasons. They may not drink enough water or medications they are taking can have fluid loss as a side effect. Whatever the cause, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of dehydration in seniors since they are more at risk for dehydration and may suffer more serious complications.
Why Seniors’ Risk for Dehydration is Higher.
Seniors may become dehydrated more easily than younger people because of several things. Some of the factors that influence senior dehydration are:
- Being Unaware of Thirst: Scientists have found that older adults do not feel thirst as keenly as younger people do. As a result, they may not respond to their body’s need for water and drink less.
- Less Fluid in Body: As people age, the amount of fluids they naturally have in their bodies declines. Around the age of 60, the ratio of water to body weight reduces from 60 percent to 52 percent in men. In women, it goes from 52 percent to 46 percent.
- Reduced Kidney Function: Kidneys may not work as well as a person ages. As a result, they flush out more water with the toxins than they once did.
Symptoms of Dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration get more severe the more dehydrated a person gets. Some of the early signs of dehydration are:
- Darkly colored urine.
- Infrequent urination.
- Feeling weak.
- Tiredness and irritability.
- Cramps in the arms or legs.
When dehydration becomes more severe, symptoms may include:
- Lack of sweating.
- Eyes that appear to be sunken in.
- A rapid, weak pulse.
- Low blood pressure.
- Lack of elasticity in the skin.
- Rapid breathing.
- Severe cramping in the back, limbs, and stomach.
- Bloated stomach.
If you notice symptoms of severe dehydration, seek medical attention immediately.
A home care provider can help your aging relative to avoid dehydration. Home care providers can offer seniors liquids several times a day. They can also monitor how much the person has actually had to drink. Home care providers can also watch for signs of dehydration and report them to you or seek medical help in an emergency.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Hurst, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
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