Water is the most important fluid for humans, irrespective of their age. But as one becomes old, remaining properly hydrated becomes even more important. Dehydration can prove fatal if not handled in time and that is why in-home nursing care providers emphasize the importance of consuming water.
Here we present to you 10 facts that every senior must know about dehydration:
Water loss is not uncommon for a healthy human body. A human body is a complex structure with several organ systems working simultaneously. In course of common processes like respiration, urination, and perspiration, your body tends to lose water. Losing excessive amounts of water can lead to dehydration. To avoid the same, it is important to stay hydrated at all the time to give body adequate water for all its processes.
In old age, you tend to consume more medications during the daily course of life. Some of the medicine increases the desire to urinate, leading to greater water loss. Generally, medicines for regulating blood pressure or diabetes are diuretics. These cause excessive urination or perspiration, leading to significant water loss even without much physical activity. If you consume such medications, you should increase your water intake.
Studies and research reveals that the sense of thirst decreases with growing age. This means mostly elders don’t feel like drinking anything and this can lead to dehydration. If you also do not feel like drinking water, make sure to instruct your caretaker or family members to keep reminding you to drink water from time to time. As kidney also tends to reduce its function as you age, you lose more water, making it important to drink water from time to time. You can talk to a home care for seniors or your family to solve this problem.
As home caretakers stay with an elder for the almost whole day, they can keep reminding you of drinking water every hour. Mostly, senior citizens don’t feel like walking to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. In such a case, a home caretaker can keep a water bottle close to them at all time and keep talking to them, reminding them of drinking water. This helps in avoiding dehydration.
Though a common phenomenon, dehydration must not be taken lightly. The most common symptoms include dark yellowish urine, fatigue, and headache. Common symptoms can begin to arise in a few hours and are mostly ignored. If you as a senior feel any of these symptoms, you should call anyone from your family or a caretaker from 24-hour home nurse service, as they can turn fatal. If not handled properly, dehydration can cause difficulty in walking, seizures, and coma. Similarly, dehydration can turn fatal, too.
Common symptoms of dehydration are often ignored and written off as general weakness. They do not seem unusual in case of an elderly person and thus, people can be casual in their approach. But, such cases if not handled on time can turn fatal. But if you or any other elderly person around you feel difficulty in walking or fatigue, you should not ignore the symptoms.
Dehydration can be easily managed by staying hydrated using regular intake of water. One should keep a record of water intake, use mobile phones to set periodic water intake reminders and keep a water bottle in close vicinity at all the times. Mostly, seniors tend to get lazy about walking to drink water, so keep a water bottle handy is recommended. Also, including water-rich foods and vegetables in a regular diet can help avoid dehydration.
Caffeinated and aerated drinks should be avoided as much as possible. As caffeine is a diuretic that increases urination, one should keep them off his/her regular diet just like soda, chocolate, and tea. This will help in avoiding chances of dehydration.
As stated above, passing yellow-colored urine is a symptom of dehydration. So, keep a check on the color of urine you pass if you are in your old age. That will help you in knowing if you are hydrated or not.
Always keep a sports drink handy as they are known to replenish essential electrolytes in the body quickly. They help in avoiding cases of dehydration and are not hard to get hold of.
If you want to stay worry-free about dehydration, you can think of a 24-hour home nursing service such as Papaya Care. Papaya Care offers excellent home care for seniors that not only help them in avoiding instances of dehydration but also in completing routine tasks with ease.