Dehydration is very dangerous for senior health and is often overlooked.  Drinking enough water is important for everyone, but the elderly are at greater risk for dehydration and need to drink more than usual in the summer months.

A study conducted by UCLA found that an average of 40% of seniors are chronically under-hydrated, and that can easily lead to dehydration and can cause serious health problems such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, dizziness, and falling.

Older adults are more prone to dehydration because they have less water in their bodies.  They are also likely to have health conditions or are taking medications that could cause dehydration as a side effect. In fact, dehydration is so common among seniors that adults age 65 and up have the highest hospital admission rate for this condition.


Signs of Dehydration


Some signs of early dehydration early are dry mouth, dark urine, fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, sleepiness, and irritability.  Some serious signs that need immediate attention are low blood pressure, confusion, bloated stomach, fast but weak pulse, difficulty walking, and convulsions.


But How Much Water Do Seniors Need?


There is a rule of thumb says the average person should take their body weight and drink one-third of that number in ounces.  For example, a 150-pound person should drink 50 ounces of water a day.  However, if it is unusually hot or if you have an unusually active day, you should increase the amount of water you drink.

Seniors with health conditions, and who take medications should talk to their doctor and get a recommended water intake amount and make it one of their daily goals.

The benefits of staying hydrated are important and include fewer falls, less constipations, reduced risk of bladder infections and cancer, a sharper mind, fewer headaches, and an overall increase in energy.


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Sources: NCBICleveland ClinicMayo Clinic