As I have already indicated in a previous post, one of the leading reasons for dehydration is the fact that as we age, we do not feel as thirsty as we did when younger. This lessened fluid need may be the result of slowed physical activity. This is especially true if the individuals are sedentary, perhaps wheelchair or bed-bound; living alone at home and can’t get out and about much or in a nursing facility. Neither option really leads to much mobility.
Another reason for dehydration in older folks – especially if they live in nursing homes or are more sedentary even if living alone – is the fact that it may be more difficult to get up and get something to drink – or are simply too embarrassed to ask for help, so they do without.
Medications can also have a big effect on how many fluids one intakes. Although healthcare professionals realize that these effects can take place, the doctors may not actually know that their patient has stopped drinking as much as their body requires. This is especially true of diuretic-type meds. These rid the body of fluids, so if fluids are not constantly added to one’s system, the body just keeps losing, thus the dehydration factor!
When one becomes dehydrated, then they are subject to more common, everyday ailments, like flu and colds, but these can become deadly because they also cause fluid loss that is not easily replenished. It is a round-robin of issues and a caregiver needs to keep on their toes to avoid these issues with their clients.
It is one big way to show your clients that With Age Comes Respect.