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3 Facts for Preventing Layton Senior Dehydration
Dehydration is a risk that can impact many people, and is particularly worrisome during an especially hot summer like the one we’re in now. Seniors, unfortunately, are one of the higher risk groups for dehydration for several reasons, including age-related changes to the body – luckily, however, there are some very simple ways to ensure dehydration is not a risk for yourself or any senior loved one in your life.
At Cozy Retire, we’re happy to provide a wide range of caring services within our assisted living community in Layton and other parts of Utah, featuring everything from specific programs and services through simple care themes tailored to the needs of each of our guests. Our staff members are well-trained to help keep track of numerous important health-related themes for our guests, including ensuring proper hydration – and recognizing the signs of dehydration if they appear. Here’s a primer on why dehydration is a risk for seniors, plus the common warning signs and how to prevent these risks.
Risks of Dehydration
In any body that becomes too hot, sweating begins to cool it down – and this results in a loss of fluid. When combined with high humidity, this leads to a significant fluid loss that sometimes isn’t replaced adequately. People, including seniors, need at least eight glasses of water per day, and more if they will be outside in the heat or taking part in any form of significant exercise.
Seniors, in particular, have a heightened risk for dehydration. A primary reason for this is simple aging, which often weakens sense of thirst while also making it tougher for the body to regulate heat – especially when it’s very hot and humid. There can be serious consequences if dehydration is not dealt with, including death in some of the most extreme cases.
Common Warning Signs
Early on in dehydration, symptoms will include thirst, restlessness and irritability. If proper hydration isn’t achieved, further symptoms may include headaches, muscle cramps, sunken eyes, dark-colored urine and a decreased urine output.
Furthermore, any of the following signs may indicate serious, potentially life-threatening dehydration risks:
- Confusion or major disorientation
- Problems with coordination or walking
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Rapid heart rate
If any of these latter situations is occurring in a senior loved one, call 911 right away.
Dehydration Prevention Themes
Here are some general tips for preventing dehydration in seniors (these are useful for many non-seniors, as well):
- Water and food: Drinking at least eight glasses of water per day is very important, as is food consumption. There are numerous foods that help hydrate the body, including many fruits and vegetables; on the flip side, drinks like sodas, coffee and tea should be minimized, as these actually don’t contain much water and may contribute to dehydration.
- Clothing: To ward off dehydration, wear light, breathable clothes that allow air to circulate.
- Timing: Many seniors will avoid going into the hot sun during its peak hours, roughly 11am to 5pm.
- Air conditioner: And while inside, properly utilizing air conditioning, fans and other forms of cooling are simple ways to avoid dehydration.
For more on preventing dehydration in seniors this summer, or to learn about any of our senior living services in Layton, speak to the staff at Cozy Retire today.