Contrary to popular belief, dehydration doesn’t only occur in the summer season! While many cases of dehydration are reported in the warmer months of the year, dehydration is a problem that individuals, especially the elderly, face throughout the year. Because the topic isn’t talked about often, we wanted to provide a bit of information about elderly dehydration and what some of the warning signs are, so families and Greater Hartford home caregivers can keep a watchful eye on vulnerable aging adults during the busy holiday season.
Dehydration occurs when a senior loses more water than they take in. Simply not drinking enough water is one of the main causes for dehydration; however there are other contributing factors for older adults. For example, physical or medical conditions can make it more difficult for a senior to get up and get water without assistance. Many seniors also don’t feel the urge to drink as much as younger people, a simple change of preferences that comes with age. Even medications, such as those for high blood pressure and depression, can increase the risk of dehydration for seniors.
Some of the mild side effects of dehydration include cramping, headaches, weakness, and irritability, whereas severe side effects can include lowered blood pressure levels, convulsions and a weakened pulse. If you are concerned about an aging loved one’s hydration, look for common symptoms such as sunken eyes, lethargy and dry mouth during upcoming visits. The more water they drink, the more benefits they’ll enjoy such as energized muscles, healthy skin and kidneys, normal bowel function and enhanced cognitive performance, just to name a few.
Drinking water is something that many people simply forget! So don’t forget to remind your aging loved ones to get at least six classes of water a day. You can also place reusable water bottles in convenient locations around your loved one’s home such as on a bedside nightstand, by the couch and on the kitchen table, to act as reminders and to ensure water is always conveniently available.
If you are concerned about the health and safety of an aging parent or loved one at home, consider hiring an hourly home caregiver in Greater Hartford to provide assistance on an as-needed basis. In addition to ensuring proper hydration and nutrition, caregivers can assist with household chores such as light housekeeping and transportation so your loved one can focus on their regular routines and the things they enjoy. Call a Care Manager today at 860-372-4500 to schedule a no-obligation, complimentary consultation.