Acute dehydration has the potential to lead to life-threatening illness. It is very important that all people, especially the elderly, drink enough water to stay healthy. With the addition of medications like diuretics, allergy pills and others, the reality is that the elderly may need to drink more than usual. Failing to do so could lead to acute dehydration and a serious health emergency.
There are many signs of dehydration to watch out for, but a few are easier to notice than others. Here are four that show that your loved one needs more water and to hydrate quickly.
Some medications are known to cause constipation, but the answer to this is usually to drink more water. If your loved one is dealing with constipation that isn’t improving or you’re noticing it happen more often, take a look at their fluid intake to see if dehydration could be the cause.
- Dry mouth
Dry mouth may be another sign of dehydration. This is a particularly common symptom among the elderly due to their medications, but it is also often a sign of serious dehydration. If your loved one has dry mouth, look at the side effects of their medications while making sure their fluid intake is increased.
An increase in falls, especially those linked to dizziness, may be a sign of dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, it’s more common to experience vertigo and dizziness, so check your loved one’s fluid intake.
- Dry skin that doesn’t unwrinkle well
Dry skin, especially skin that doesn’t release after being pinched gently, is a major sign of serious dehydration. Dehydration affects blood volume and pulls water from the surface to maintain balance in the body.
These are four common signs of dehydration. If you believe that your loved one isn’t getting enough to drink, now is a good time to talk to the nursing home staff or others about considering increasing liquids and, potentially adding an IV to your family member’s treatment plan. If the dehydration is severe enough, it’s time to call 911 and get the patient to the hospital.