It’s Hot Out There! Get to Know These Signs of Dehydration
With summer in full swing, it’s important to be aware of the effects of hot weather on senior health. Here is some advice from our homecare services team on recognizing the signs of dehydration in seniors and treating it properly.
Why Do Seniors Get Dehydrated?
While anyone can get dehydrated by not drinking enough water, playing lots of sports or being outdoors in hot weather, seniors are especially vulnerable to this problem. As you get older, your fluid reserves shrink and your body’s ability to hold on to water in its system is reduced. Your body also becomes less aware of certain senses, so you don’t always realize that you are thirsty. In addition, seniors who suffer from mobility issues, chronic illnesses and cognitive issues, often find themselves limited in their ability to get water or are even dehydrated by the medications they take.
8 Signs of Dehydration in Seniors
If a senior is dehydrated, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty walking
- Dizziness and headaches
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Low urine output
If any of these symptoms occur, encourage the person to drink water in small amounts, move them into a cool, shady area and stay with them. If you have a hydration drink with electrolytes (for example, a sports drink), have them sip that. If you notice no improvement in symptoms or are concerned because they have other serious health issues, contact a doctor.
Preventing Dehydration in Seniors
The best approach is to prevent dehydration in the first place. Here’s how:
- Encourage hydration throughout the day, especially with meals and in the hottest parts of the day.
- Always ensure that they have a full water bottle with them.
- Encourage older adults to eat foods with high liquid content, for example, breakfast smoothies, soup, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol as these can have a diuretic (dehydrating) effect.
- Not all hydration has to be in the form of water. Suggest their favorite herbal teas or iced teas, fruit and vegetable juices, and milk.
- Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day in a cool room. A fan or air conditioning can help a lot.
- Avoid strenuous activities like walks unless the weather is cool and always take cotton cover-ups, hats, sunscreen, and water with you.
- Check up on senior loved ones and neighbors during heatwaves and assist with care packages or chores around the home.
At Homecare for the Elderly – Independence and Assistance with All the Comforts of Home
Whether you need residential in-home respite care or need someone qualified and experienced to assist your loved one on a more permanent basis, our home health aide services team in New jersey are here to help through our HomeWorks program. Our staff is certified in New Jersey and have senior care training, so please feel free to ask for formal certification and references.
For more information on our senior homecare services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at https://homeworks.umcommunities.org/Home-Care-Services-For-Seniors