senior woman drinking smoothieAs we age, our bodies lose more and more water. This makes it much more likely for older people to become dehydrated.

Contrary to popular belief, dehydration can occur any time of year. In addition to drinking water throughout the day, there are several ways seniors can keep from getting dehydrated.

Risk Factors for Dehydration

Older adults lose bodily fluids more quickly and have fewer water reserves available. Due to mobility issues, diabetes or forgetfulness, seniors may not drink enough water each day and are at increased risk for dehydration. In addition to age, the following are common risks:

  • Weakened thirst response
  • Taking multiple medications
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Decreased kidney function

To combat the likelihood of experiencing dehydration, consider these tips.

Include Foods High in Water

According to WebMD, 20 percent of our water intake comes from the food we eat. Knowing which foods are high in water content can be helpful in preventing dehydration. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water, including:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers

There are many ways to include these healthy foods in your daily meals. Fruit can be used in a smoothie for breakfast or a tropical salad for lunch. Use vegetables to make a refreshing salad or toss them on the grill to enhance their natural flavor!

Avoid Evaporation

It’s very easy for water and moisture to escape through our skin. Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent or slow down this process. When outdoors, seniors should stay in the shade as much as possible and keep a source of water on-hand.

During the warmer seasons, it’s especially important for older people to stay cool. This can help prevent sweating and also decreases risk for heat-related illnesses. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • High body temperature
  • Flushed skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Moisturizing daily can help block the evaporation of water from the skin. It can also help prevent skin dryness and irritation.

Know the Symptoms

Above all else, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of dehydration in order to treat and prevent the condition. Some common symptoms include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Increased thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Sunken eyes

If you have more questions about how to prevent dehydration in seniors, contact our knowledgeable staff at Avon Health Center!