According to the Mayo Clinic, the elderly are among one of the groups of people that are more susceptible to dehydration. They cite the following reasons for this including the fact that a senior’s ability to conserve water is lessened while at the same time they experience a diminished sense of thirst. Furthermore, a senior’s capacity to respond to changes in temperature is reduced and many do not adept well to extremely hot or cold weather. These issues are often compounded by the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, dementia and kidney problems. There are even certain medications that can contribute to the elderly being more susceptible to dehydration.
As we age our kidneys’ lose some of their ability to concentrate urine and retain water during episodes of fluid deprivation. Also a reduced sensation of thirst means that many seniors forget to drink enough fluids throughout the day. Moreover disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia can create swallowing problems that make it more difficult to drink. Other factors that can contribute to dehydration include a decrease in mobility and incontinence.
The dangers of dehydration are many and often results in emergency visits and hospitalization and have even been associated with increased mortality rates in the elderly. Additionally it is related to a range of health issues such as falling, constipation, and impaired cognition and confusion.
So what steps should you take to ensure you or your loved one stays hydrated? Experts advise that every time you take a pill to drink a full glass of water. Also have healthy fluids readily available throughout the day and avoid sugar-laden drinks as well as salty foods.
This post is intended for informational purposes only. Please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
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