Why Is Dehydration So Prevalent In Seniors
by Susannah Marchese
Dehydration in seniors can be a serious and potentially dangerous situation. Water is important at any age, but it becomes imperative to keep our water intake high as we get older.
You may have noticed; people of a certain age are dry. The lush, thick hair and plump skin of youth is a thing of the past. Skin, hair, nails and mouths succumb to the aging process.
Why is dehydration so prevalent in seniors? One of the many things that change as we grow old is our perception of thirst. We actually start to lose the ability to differentiate between thirst and hunger. The elderly might begin to accept the dryness they are living with as normal. They may take in a few ounces of water, but actually need more to combat the lack of fluids.
There is also the possibility of the symptoms of dehydration being misdiagnosed as something else. Possible side effects of too little water include anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, and issues with concentration.
Obviously, these could also be the symptoms of many other afflictions. Very severe dehydration could even cause kidney and heart problems.
The good news is that this, to a certain degree, can be reversed. Simply start drinking more water. It's difficult to know exactly how much water we need, but aim for 6-8 eight-ounce glasses a day. If you have kidney or heart problems, consult a physician before increasing your water intake.
Having trouble remembering to drink more? Try filling a bottle with your daily amount of water and keep it with you or nearby and sip from it throughout the day. Fill 8 glasses with water and keep them on your kitchen counter. It's easier to remember if they are right under your nose.
If you are an active senior and exercise regularly, you need to be even more diligent in your intake of water. Replace what you lose and keep an eye on your urine. The darker the urine, the more concentrated it is and therefore in need of more water. Well-hydrated people have light- colored urine.
It is obvious that dehydration in seniors is a potentially dangerous situation that can cause many uncomfortable and sometimes serious side effects. Drink more water to alleviate the problems associated with chronic dehydration.
About the Author: Susannah Marchese is a senior contributing editor to the popular and informative website http://www.everything-about-pilates.com. In addition to having Stott Pilates and IM=X Pilates certifications, Susannah is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, and received a Gold Standard Certification from the Pilates Method Alliance.