While heat is a summer constant, so is the danger of dehydration, which may be increased by physical outdoor activities. The consequences of dehydration are high for everyone, but the elderly are more vulnerable in hot weather.
According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, dehydration is reported to occur in 17-28% of older adults in the United States.
As a home care agency, we understand that older persons are prone to fluid and electrolyte imbalances for many reasons. With aging, muscle mass (an essential water reservoir) and kidney function degrade, reducing the body’s capacity to save water. This may make adapting to changing temperatures challenging.
Certain medical disorders and drugs might alter fluid retention. Dementia patients may forget to eat and drink and have trouble swallowing, preventing them from receiving enough fluids.
The frequent urination caused by diuretics, antihistamines, laxatives, antipsychotics, and corticosteroids depletes water and electrolytes. Seniors with incontinence frequently avoid fluids to prevent accidents.
The daily fluid recommended for people is 64 ounces. However, that amount might change based on medications and health conditions. If the senior is urinating or sweating more, their fluid intake should also be more frequent.
Sarah’s Peace and Love Home Healthcare is a licensed provider of home care services in Laurel, Maryland, for seniors who require patient-focused and affordable care.