Symptoms Of Dehydration In Elderly - Infuze Hydration

Symptoms of dehydration in elderly people aren’t often discussed, but they’re equally as important as dehydration in anyone else. Whether they’re living in their own homes or a care facility, staying properly hydrated is vital. Dehydration can add more complication to illnesses that seniors may already be fighting. Below we’ll discuss symptoms, causes and much more surrounding dehydration in elderly people.

Symptoms Of Dehydration In Elderly People

Knowing the symptoms of dehydration in elderly people is helpful if you have a loved one you are caring for, in a care facility, or just in general. So, let’s talk about what you’re looking for with symptoms of dehydration in elderly people.

  • Headaches
  • Little Urine/Dark urine
  • Crying but with little to no tears
  • Increased fatigue
  • Noticeably bad mood
  • Bloated stomach
  • Little to no elasticity
  • Eyes are noticeably dry or appear more sunken into their skull
  • Their blood pressure is lower
  • Severe muscle cramping in back, legs, & torso

Why Do Elderly Get Dehydrated Quickly

Dehydration is a common struggle for most people, but the elderly are particularly at risk because frequent causes of dehydration are often present in elderly people’s lives.

For instance, common causes are medications (particularly diuretics), diarrhea, sweating more than normal, diseases such as diabetes, and losses of blood.

More on how diabetes, a common ailment among the elderly, can create a dehydration cycle if not monitored properly. Here’s a really great article that explains in detail, or we’ll summarize it below.

Basically, if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, you most likely have an infectious disease (an infection at some point in your body). Having an infectious disease naturally causes your blood sugar to rise, and the vomiting or diarrhea that usually accompany infectious diseases are causing your body to excrete or lose more water than normal. This causes your body to compensate by pulling fluid from your blood, which leaves glucose remaining and again, raises your blood sugar. Your body’s natural response to high blood sugar is urination, which starts us right back at losing water and becoming more dehydrated.

Medication is often another culprit to pay attention to. If an elderly individual is taking medication that is a diuretic or has diuretic tendencies, it’s important to equally monitor their hydration and watch for signs of dehydration.

How Can You Tell If You’re Dehydrated

We’ve discussed in our post, Signs of Dehydration in Adults, Children, and Babies, common ways to tell if a person is dehydrated. Although varied by age group, they can include dark colored urine, fatigue, cracked lips etc.

However, when it comes to signs of dehydration in the elderly, it’s a whole different ball game. Like we mentioned above you’ll want to look for outward signs such as bloating, no elasticity in the skin, eyes are noticeably dry and can also be sunken into the skull. Some other signs that aren’t necessarily as outward appearing are headaches, dark colored urine, and severe cramping in the torso and limbs.

Chronic Dehydration Symptoms In The Elderly

To start, let’s define what chronic dehydration is. Chronic dehydration is dehydration that occurs repeatedly over a period of time. Chronic dehydration is essentially when your body doesn’t get the fluids it needs but still tries to function or perform properly over time.

In the case of the elderly, chronic dehydration could easily set in if dehydration went unnoticed over a period of time. Another case could be if medications that caused dehydration were taken without adequate fluid consumption to hydrate the body, and chronic dehydration set in over time.

Some signs of chronic dehydration include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Ongoing headaches
  3. Progressing muscle weakness
  4. Constipation

Treatment for chronic dehydration usually takes more than just drinking water. You might have to drink liquids with added electrolytes and follow a doctor’s care.

How Long Does It Take For Your Body To Rehydrate

While it varies on an individual basis, some points to consider when thinking about how long rehydration may take include:

  • Age
  • Fitness/activity level
  • Level of dehydration
  • If treatment at the hospital is necessary
  • Expected activity level over the next few days
  • Medications currently being taken (especially diuretics)
  • If water is sufficient or electrolytes are needed for rehydration

We recommend consulting with your doctor on a rehydration plan to safely hydrate your body and get it back to optimal performance.

Hydration overall is important, but hydration in elderly people is unique and vital. We hope you enjoyed reading about elderly hydration and learned something new. At Infuze Hydration, we take hydration seriously. We’ve developed a water bottle flavoring system that helps increase your water intake by 300%. Visit our blog to learn more about hydration and tips for staying hydrated.

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