Normally we lose water through urine, feces, sweat, and when we breathe out. Our thirst tells us to replace this water.
However, as you age you are more likely to have problems with the balance of water in your body. There are a number of reasons for this.
- Your kidneys may not function as well as they once did so you may lose more water in urine.
- You may not feel thirsty, even on hot days, so you don’t drink enough.
- If you have trouble walking it may seem like too much trouble to get up and get yourself a drink.
- Prescription drugs you may be taking for other ailments may cause dehydration.
- If you have a problem with incontinence you may worry about getting to the bathroom on time.
- If your prostate is enlarged and you have trouble urinating or sleeping at night due to feeling you need to urinate, you may tend to drink less to feel more comfortable.
Some people feel that dehydration is not too serious, but in fact it can cause confusion, dizziness, and in extreme cases even death. Here are some common symptoms of dehydration.
- Your skin, nose, and eyes might become too dry.
- You might feel sluggish and confused, and if you stand up you might feel light-headed.
- You urinate less, and your urine becomes dark.
- If you allow the dehydration to become severe your blood pressure may drop, which would endanger your life.
The prevention and treatment for mild dehydration are basically the same: to drink enough fluids, especially fresh water.
- If you don’t feel thirsty or for some other reason you haven’t been getting sufficient water intake, the best thing to do is schedule it.
- In addition, keep a healthy diet so the body has the vitamins and minerals it needs.
- Drink extra liquids if you are sick, after exercise, or during hot weather.
- If you are already dehydrated avoid alcohol and artificial cold drinks like sodas.
In conclusion, dehydration is a serious risk for all seniors, but is easily prevented. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day.