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Why is Dehydration a Big Risk for the Elderly?

Home Care Services in Elizabeth NJ: Why is Dehydration a Big Risk for the Elderly?

The body changes as you get older. The kidneys have a harder time balancing sodium levels and expel more water than is necessary. Seniors also have a harder time feeling thirsty. Incontinence leads to loss of fluids. Some medications also impact fluid levels.

In the study of 200 seniors, Age and Ageing found 74 of those people were dehydrated. After a full two days in the hospital, hydration levels in 62 percent of them had not improved. One of the problems is that typical signs of dehydration are not present in the elderly. Lower stores of collagen make the skin appear dry and wrinkles occur. Looking at the elasticity of the skin to determine hydration is not effective.

What Happens to the Body When It’s Dehydrated?

Around 60 percent of your total body weight is water. Water is vital to proper organ function and overall health. When you’re dehydrated, your blood thickens. It’s harder for it to flow properly. Thicker blood forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood and oxygen to the other organs. The excess cardiovascular activity can make you lightheaded.

At the same time, the lower quantities of water in the body make it harder for your body to regulate your core temperature. Your body temperature may rise too much as a result.

How Much Should Your Parent Drink Each Day?

In the article “Dehydration in Geriatrics,” it’s said that you should take a person’s body weight, subtract 20 kilograms, and multiply that by 15. The resulting answer is how many milliliters of water to consume each day.

For instance, if your mom weighs 170 pounds (77.1107kg), take 77.1107kg, subtract 20kg, and multiply that by 15. You get 856.66ml. Add that to 1,500ml and that’s how much water your mom should drink. At 170 pounds, your mom should consume 79.69 ounces of fluid each day.

About 20 percent of your daily fluid intake comes from the foods you eat. Take the 79.69 ounces and reduce it by 20 percent. This leaves 63.75 ounces of water per day that should come from beverages.

Make sure your mom and dad drink enough throughout the day. If you can’t keep track of how much they drink, hire a home care professional to help. While you’re at work, a caregiver can make sure your parents eat and drink at regular intervals. Discover the other benefits of home care by making a call today.


If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Elizabeth, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.