A young Caucasian woman giving an elderly Caucasian woman a glass of water with text "Dealing with Dehydration"

Dehydration can impact anyone, from children to adults, but it can become especially troublesome for the elderly. Dehydration occurs when someone loses more fluids than taken in. According to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, between 6 and 30 percent of people aged 65 years and older who are hospitalized are dehydrated.

What are the causes for dehydration in older adults?
Dehydration in older adults is often due partly to inadequate water intake, but other factors can include diarrhea, excessive sweating, side effects of prescribed medications like diuretics, and diseases such as diabetes.

The effects of dehydration can progress quickly, and it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.
• Falls
• Sunken eyes
• Confusion
• Rapid heart rate
• Dark-colored urine
• Less frequent urination than normal

Being aware of the risk of dehydration is the first step to avoiding it. It can be difficult to encourage the elderly to drink enough fluids, but one strategy is to offer a variety of healthy beverages to help increase fluid intake. Make sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making changes to a loved one’s diet or liquid intake.

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