Why is Your Senior Loved One Getting Dehydrated?
Posted: 9/23/2019 8:00 AM by
Adults over the age of 60 are most likely to suffer from dehydration. Unfortunately, left untreated dehydrated seniors are at a higher risk for stroke, kidney stones, chronic constipation and impaired cognitive function, along with a higher overall risk of contracting an infectious disease.
Thankfully, dehydration is easily treatable. If you or your loved one’s doctor has noticed a consistent problem with dehydration, one or more of these culprits could be to blame:
Physiology changes that accompany age
Put simply, our bodies operate a bit differently as we get older. Your loved one’s kidneys, for instance, may be less able to function the way that they should, which can dramatically throw off electrolyte levels and lead to dehydration. Speaking with your loved one’s doctor regarding any physiological changes and their impact -- and how to mitigate them -- is essential.
Medications are having an effect
Sometimes, dehydration is directly tied to medications. Many blood pressure medications, for example, have a diuretic effect, which can throw off electrolyte levels and lead to dehydration. Still more medications can affect hydration with nasty side effects like diarrhea. Again, it’s important to communicate with your loved one’s doctor to understand what medications he or she is taking, how they could be impacting hydration and what you can do about it.
Diminished sense of thirst
When it’s hot out or you’ve been sweating, you’re thirsty. You drink water, and avoid dehydration. Seems simple, right? Except that as we age, our sense of thirst diminishes. That means that even when your loved one’s body craves hydration, Mom or Dad might not realize that they’re thirsty! Setting a schedule for drinking water or other hydrating fluids can help overcome this challenge and keep your loved one adequately hydrated.
Water doesn’t taste as good
Our taste buds also change as we age, and sometimes that means water simply doesn’t taste as good to seniors. Buying filtered water or installing a home filter can help, as can purchasing flavored water (just be sure to avoid added sweeteners and other unhealthy ingredients). Changing things up to help make water tasty and fun for Mom or Dad can make a big difference in overcoming this challenge.
We can help you keep Mom or Dad hydrated, happy and healthy.
It's tough to keep up with how much water your senior is drinking, especially if you can't stop by as much as you would like. When you partner with a trusted senior home care provider, you can rest easy knowing that a trained professional is with your loved one and helping to ensure Mom or Dad stays adequately hydrated.
To learn more, contact your nearest Interim HealthCare location today.