As we all know, our body is composed mostly of water. In fact, 70% of the body’s weight is due to water. There is a continuous cycle of water intake and loss, while maintaining a specific quantity of water by the body.
Body dehydration occurs when the body contains an insufficient amount of water to carry out the normal functions. Though it can occur in any age group, dehydration is the most common in older adults. Dehydration is the most common cause for hospitalization for those over a certain age.
Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration due to less fluid in the body, about 10% less than an adult body. There are physiological changes associated with aging like reduced sense of taste, thirst and the loss of appetite that trigger dehydration in our seniors. Dehydration can be caused by the side effects of medications, high blood pressure, diarrhea, vomiting, and infections. Very often, the signs and symptoms of dehydration are mild and vague, especially in seniors with dementia. The following list is an example of some of the signs of dehydration:
*Increased heart rate
*Dry mouth and eyes
*Less urine output
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.
Some of the complications of dehydration are renal failure, coma, shock, and discomfort. The best way to combat dehydration is to have fluids available at all times and to drink once an hour.