June 27, 2023 —It’s no secret that the heat of the summer can have a serious impact on your body, especially for older adults. Older bodies do not feel thirst as much, and kidney function decreases. After age 60, the proportion of total body fluids to body weight is about 52% in men and 46% in women, compared to 60% and 52% for adults under 40. This makes the danger of dehydration greater.
Even if you’re aware of the risk, can you name any of the signs of dehydration? This serious health concern can start out small and become severe very quickly. Keep yourself well-hydrated by consuming sufficient amounts of water, fruit juice, and fresh vegetables throughout the summer. Drinking more fluids is important, particularly in hot weather, to replace lost fluids and maintain proper hydration. It is crucial to drink enough water and other hydrating beverages.
Keep this checklist handy to help you identify dehydration early in the people around you.
☑ Decreased Thirst
Too lazy to get up and get a drink? No! When it is hot outside, always keep a tall glass in hand to keep you feeling refreshed. Remember to drink enough water and hydrating fluids regularly.
☑ Persistent Headache
If it is a hot day and your head is aching, sit down and have a drink. You might be dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration-related headaches.
☑ Decreased Elasticity
Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. How long does it take to go back in place? This is a sure sign of dehydration. Maintaining adequate hydration levels helps the skin to retain its elasticity.
☑ Extreme Thirst
Do you feel like your mouth is dry? Or even though you are drinking more and more, you cannot quench your thirst. You may be dehydrated. Increase your fluid intake to relieve extreme thirst.
☑ Feeling Out of Sorts?
Confusion, dizziness (from low blood pressure), weakness and fatigue are all sure signs of dehydration. Pay attention to these symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary.
☑ Sunken Eyes
Do your friend’s eyes appear sunken today? Hand her a tall glass of water and watch a smile come to her face. Rehydration can help alleviate sunken eyes.
☑ No Sweat!
Usually this phrase is used in a positive way but when your body cannot produce sweat or tears, that’s a sign of dehydration.
☑ Rapid Heart Rate
Is your heart racing even though you are not exercising? This could be a sign of dehydration. It is important to drink enough water and fluids to regulate your heart rate.
☑ The Smell of Ammonia
Is your stool black or bloody? Is your urine dark and have a strong odor? These are tell-tale signs of dehydration. Seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
Are you feeling constipated or seeing significantly less urine output? Dehydration could be the cause. Increase your fluid intake to prevent and alleviate constipation.
Causes of Dehydration
Now that we know the signs, let’s look at some of the most common causes of dehydration:
- Decreased kidney function after age 50
- Excessive sweating
- Increased urination
- Vomiting for more than 24 hours
- Diarrhea for more than 24 hours
Remember, staying well-hydrated is crucial for overall health, particularly for older adults. Drink enough water, consume hydrating fluids, and pay attention to your body’s signals. If you experience severe dehydration or persistent symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
The Admiral at the Lake
While you enjoy all of the outdoor activities during the summer, the staff at The Admiral at the Lake reminds you to keep a cool drink in hand to stay well-hydrated. Unlike your average senior retirement community, The Admiral at the Lake caters to the vibrant, active lifestyle enjoyed by residents in this urban senior living community. Looking for a continuing care community to call home? Call 773.433.1801 or click today to get your free information kit.