What Is the Impact of Dehydration on Seniors?

Senior Home Care in Spotswood NJ

Senior Home Care in Spotswood NJ

Seniors get dehydrated when their bodies lose more fluids than they’re taking in. This can also lead to an imbalance in electrolytes and cause problems throughout the body. Dehydration is a big problem for anyone, but it’s especially problematic for aging adults for a variety of reasons. Senior home care providers can help watch for signs of dehydration and help aging adults to avoid it altogether.

Increased Risk of Falls and Injuries

Dehydration can weaken muscles, which then affects balance and coordination. This can lead to a bigger fall risk for seniors. Seniors may also experience dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting because of dehydration. These issues also can cause seniors to fall, which could lead to big injuries like fractured bones. If aging adults already have mobility challenges, then dehydration is likely to make them worse overall.

Confusion and Cognitive Impairment

The brain relies on hydration to keep it functioning, so when seniors are dehydrated, they’re more likely to experience cognitive impairment and confusion. They might have memory problems, trouble concentrating, and even changes in mood and behavior. These symptoms can sometimes be misconstrued as warning signs of dementia. Increasing hydration can often reverse these problems.

Worsened Health Conditions

When seniors are already battling health issues, they need to focus on getting plenty of water. Dehydration can make heart disease, diabetes, kidney problems, and other health issues so much more difficult to manage. Left too long, some of these issues can even lead to complications that might require a hospital stay.

Impaired Kidney Function

The kidneys need lots of water to do their jobs properly, which involves regulating fluid balance throughout the body and removing waste from the body. Dehydration makes the kidneys work harder than they should have to, which can cause them to stop functioning at all. Chronic dehydration affects the entire urinary tract, contributing to a higher risk of kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney damage.

Increased Risk of Hospitalization

Dehydrated seniors are more likely to need medical intervention, especially when they’re chronically dehydrated. Close monitoring by senior care providers can help seniors to get the fluids they need and avoid the complications that could send them to the hospital. Severe dehydration that continues over time can lead to problems like organ failure and even death, so it’s vital that seniors get the fluids they need regularly.

Not getting enough water on a regular basis is about so much more than being slightly dehydrated, especially for aging adults. Seniors experience a reduced thirst response, so it’s tough for them to notice sometimes that they haven’t been getting enough water. Understanding the problem can help family caregivers put plans in place that keep seniors properly hydrated. Eating hydrating foods and drinking plenty of water is easier with the help of elder care providers. And working with senior home care providers on a regular basis gets aging adults the help they need with all sorts of daily tasks, offers them plenty of company, and keeps them safe while they age in place.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior home care in Spotswood, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.

Care Street Home Care Staff