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The Importance of Staying Hydrated for Seniors

The Importance of Staying Hydrated for Seniors

Why Staying Hydrated is Essential for Your Health

While staying hydrated is important for everyone during the summer month, it is especially important to protect seniors from heat-related illnesses.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration is a health condition that happens when your body loses too much fluid. When your body loses more water than it’s taking in, it can inhibit the efficiency of different organs systems and their functions throughout your body.

Common Signs & Symptoms

Some of the most commonly reported signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth.
  • Feeling extremely thirsty.
  • Urinating less than usual.
  • Not producing a normal amount of sweat.
  • Dark, amber-colored urine.
  • Dry skin.
  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Muscle cramping.

In more severe cases, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Confusion.
  • Fainting.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Going into shock.

The Dangers of Dehydration for Seniors

While dehydration can be relatively harmless for most, it can be particularly hard on older adults. If dehydration is left unaddressed, it can result in the following health complications:

  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Seizures.
  • Hypovolemic shock.
  • Heat exhaustion.
  • Heatstroke.

Dehydration Prevention

The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink the recommended 8 to 11 cups of water each day. In addition to drinking water, the following tips can help older adults to stay adequately hydrated:

  • Cut back on coffees and teas.
  • Drink sparkling water, milk, and fruit juices.
  • Eat fresh fruits like berries, celery, and leafy greens.
  • Drink more fluids when you’re not feeling well.
  • Manage existing chronic health conditions.
  • Keep water in easy-to-reach places.
  • Try adding sliced fruit to your water for flavor.
  • Bring water with you when spending extended periods of time outdoors.

Keep in mind that certain health conditions and medications can change your hydration needs. Be sure to speak with your primary care doctor about how much water you should be working into your diet.