Dehydration is dangerous for senior health
Drinking enough water is important for everyone, but especially for older adults who are at greater risk for dehydration.
A UCLA study found that 40% of seniors may be chronically under-hydrated. That can easily lead to dehydration and cause a variety of serious health problems, including urinary tract infections (UTI), falls, kidney stones, and more. And, adults age 65 and up have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration.
To help keep your older adult healthy and safe, we explain why dehydration is so common in seniors, mild and serious dehydration symptoms, the health risks of being dehydrated, how much water a person needs, and the benefits of staying hydrated.
Symptoms of Dehydration in Seniors
Early dehydration symptoms in older adults often go unrecognized because many of the signs of mild dehydration could easily be caused by other health conditions or medication side effects.
But it’s far easier to correct mild dehydration than deal with the complications of serious dehydration symptoms.
Being familiar with the signs helps you take action sooner rather than later.
Mild dehydration symptoms
- Dry mouth
- Dark-colored urine or very small amount of urine
- Muscle cramps in limbs
- Feeling weak or unwell
- Being sleepy or irritable
Serious dehydration symptoms
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty walking
- Fast, but weak pulse
- Bloated stomach
- Wrinkled skin with no elasticity – try the “pinch test”
- Dry and sunken eyes
- Breathing faster than normal
- Severe cramping and muscle contractions in the body