Older adults are at a greater risk for dehydration. Experts say this is because as the body ages, it loses some of its ability to recognize the need for more water. The kidneys also don’t work as well as they once did, so they don’t control fluid levels in the body as well. On top of natural aging, there are some medications that can affect fluid levels and elderly people may drink less water because of bladder control issues. Preventing dehydration is important since it can lead to serious problems, like seizures and kidney problems, and in extreme cases, death.
To prevent dehydration in seniors, family caregivers and home care providers should watch for the following signs:
The urine of a person who is properly hydrated is a pale yellow. If your parent’s urine is dark, it means the waste is more concentrated and there is not enough water flowing through the kidneys.
The stress that dehydration puts on the body can result in headaches. In addition, since good hydration is necessary for proper blood flow when a person is dehydrated, their brain may not be getting enough oxygen. If your parent is complaining of a headache, try having them drink water before giving them painkillers.
Fluids are necessary for the body to produce enough saliva. When your parent’s body does not produce enough saliva, which has antibacterial properties that kill germs in the mouth, they may have bad breath. In addition to making sure they take good care of their teeth and gums, try adding a few more glasses of water to their daily routine.
Memory and Thinking Problems
Researchers aren’t exactly sure why dehydration causes problems with memory and thinking, but it may have something to do with electrolyte balance. When the body’s electrolyte balance is off, it affects the part of the brain that is responsible for reasoning and reduces serotonin levels, which can cause mood changes.
If your parent seems to be hungry all the time, the feeling might be caused by dehydration. There are two reasons for this…
-First, the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling the endocrine and nervous systems, can be confused by dehydration into thinking a person is hungry instead of thirsty.
-Second, dehydration affects the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, so your body responds by asking for more fuel.
If your parent is experiencing the above signs, pay attention to how much they are drinking. A home care provider can help ensure that your parent stays hydrated by encouraging them to drink more fluids throughout the day. Providing a refillable water bottle and monitoring the level of the water throughout the day will allow you and home care providers to monitor how much water your parent is drinking.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Trumbull, CT, please contact the caring staff at Sovereign Home Health today.
Call today (203) 642-1924
Sovereign Home Health is focused on caring for our clients throughout Connecticut.With two locations and services ranging from our personal care and companion care services to our 24/7 Never Alone Care, our specially trained and certified in-home caregivers can provide you with the care and freedom you or your loved one deserve.
Each of our clients has different care needs, and Sovereign Home Health provides a range of services that can be customized to fit their unique, individual client needs. To learn more about Sovereign Home Health or to set up a free comprehensive consultation, contact us today.
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