There are several risk factors you should recognize that heighten the risk of developing dehydration. Understanding these risk factors can lower the risk for dehydration. Factors include:
- Swallowing disorders caused by stroke, Parkinson’s disease or dementia
- Over 85 years old
- Being bedridden
- Diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating
- Having 5 or more chronic diseases
- Taking 5 or more prescription medications
- Diminished drinking due to fear of incontinence
Chronic dehydration in elderly patients can wreak havoc on the body, although it’s not always readily apparent.
7 Tips to Help Prevent Dehydration
- drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day, rather than drinking large amounts all at once.
- Five 8-ounce glasses of water per day is a good bench. Although everyone’s needs are different, studies have shown that elderly adults who drink 5 glasses of water experience lower rates of fatal coronary heart disease.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol and high-protein drinks, especially in large quantities, because they have a diuretic effect. This leads to a greater loss of body water, which can cause or exacerbate dehydration.
- Encourage older adults to drink water, milk or juice with every meal, and keep favorite beverages nearby.
- Recognize the early warning signs of dehydration. Warning signs include fatigue, dizziness, thirst, dark urine, headaches, dry mouth/nose, dry skin and cramping.
- Remember that foods high in water, like fresh fruits, vegetables and some dairy products, can help daily water needs. Eat foods high in water.
- Fear of incontinence can diminish the urge to drink voluntarily. Therefore, drink more during the day and limit drinking before bed. Additionally, drinking small amounts of water throughout the day may help.
Please see the Drip drop website for more information