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What Happens to Seniors When They’re Dehydrated

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The body needs to stay hydrated to function properly on a daily basis. Dehydration is caused when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Senior citizens have a variety of health concerns that may be attributed to other conditions but in actuality are caused by dehydration. Here are a few common side effects of dehydration, presented by Home Care Assistance in Fairfield.

1. Sleepiness

Dehydration often causes fatigue in older adults. Studies have shown that even moderate dehydration can make older adults feel sleepy even after a good night’s rest. Drinking one or two glasses of water when feeling tired can help renew energy quickly.

2. Headaches

Chronic headaches are often linked to serious health issues when dehydration could be the cause. When a person becomes dehydrated, the brain loses water and actually begins to shrink and pull away from the skull. The pain receptors inside the brain are triggered, resulting in a headache. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to alleviate these types of dehydration headaches.

3. Confusion

Mental confusion or fogginess is one of the primary symptoms of dehydration. This symptom in the elderly is often mistaken for “senior moments” when in fact it is dehydration. In severe cases, medical treatment may be required.

4. Muscle Cramps

Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps in older adults. This is especially problematic for active seniors who sweat during activity. The nerves around the muscles need to be surrounded by water or they become hypersensitive. This is when the muscles may begin to contract or spasm. Seniors need to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.

5. Lightheadedness

Lightheadedness and dizziness are two common symptoms of dehydration in seniors. The body needs fluids to operate properly, and without the right amount, it will take them from nearby tissues. Proper hydration may be the solution to this disruptive condition.

Fluids can be easily be replenished simply by drinking, but eating foods with a high water content such as fruits and vegetables will also help the body to stay hydrated. To ensure your senior loved one is eating well and staying hydrated, consider Home Care Assistance. Fairfield families count on our hourly and live-in home care to ensure their senior loved ones have the support needed to continue living independently at home. Our caregivers can grocery shop, cook, provide transportation, monitor medication, and provide companionship among other things. For more information, give us a call at 203-955-1915 today.