As the days get hotter, it is crucial to look at the prevention and treatment of dehydration in our elderly population at South Coast Post Acute. Dehydration, put simply, occurs when a person loses more water than they drink. Especially in seniors, this can seriously affect the body. Adequate fluid intake allows the body to maintain blood pressure, eliminate waste, and regulate temperature. Not enough water can lead to weakness, irritability, confusion, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and even death.
Our South Coast skilled nursing team is aware of these factors, which can worsen the risk of dehydration in our elderly populations:
Medications and their side effects:
Often seniors may be on multiple medications which may act as a laxative, diuretic, or cause excess sweating.
Getting less water:
As we age, our sense of thirst becomes less acute. This can be compounded by the physical weakness elderly patients are already combating, which may make it harder to simply get up and get a drink.
Nausea or an otherwise upset digestive tract, causing diarrhea or vomiting, can quickly lead to dehydration.
Dehydration is one of the most frequent admitting diagnosis for Medicare hospitalizations and, if severe enough, can be life-threatening. So please, be aware.
Signs of Elderly Dehydration
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Dry Mouth
- Less ability to urinate
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
At South Coast Post Acute, we are aware that dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization, especially for seniors. In our post-hospital care, we take precautions to ensure hydration. Other than water itself, we, seniors included, can get hydration from fruits, vegetables, teas, and soups. It’s important, as a senior, to drink even when you don’t feel thirsty and consume water-dense foods. Keeping water next to the bed and a bottle of water on-hand can help immensely. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
Real People. Remarkable Care. South Coast Post Acute.