Your elderly family member’s body changes as she ages, which isn’t a secret. But some of the issues that weren’t a problem for her when she was younger might be big concerns now. One such issue is dehydration. Older adults are much more likely to experience dehydration, even when they think that they are doing all of the right things. Here are some signs you need to be on the lookout for regarding dehydration.
Dry Mouth and Cracked Lips
Having dry, cracked lips is a big sign of dehydration. In the winter, it’s tempting to pass this off as a result of low humidity or windy weather. In the summer, you could also attribute it to sun damage if your senior spends time outside. But the bottom line is that if her lips are chapped and she’s experiencing signs of dry mouth, she’s not getting enough fluids.
Disorientation, Dizziness, and Confusion
Dehydration affects the brain fairly quickly. When she’s becoming more dehydrated, your senior may start to feel dizzy or even faint. She may show signs that she’s confused or disoriented, which can be a little scary for you both. It’s important that she sits down and slowly sips some water if she starts exhibiting these signs.
Headaches are a common problem for many people, and dehydration is often a contributing factor no matter how old someone is. If your elderly family member is complaining of a headache, it’s important to offer her a glass of water before offering her medication. This can help her much more quickly than you might expect. Look for other signs of dehydration as she’s sipping her water.
Muscle cramps are another common sign of dehydration. Your senior’s electrolyte balance is off when she’s dehydrated and her muscles don’t have the water that they need in order to avoid cramping. This is a bigger sign of dehydration, which might mean that you need to contact her doctor to find out if there are other things that you need to do for your senior.
Especially during the hotter parts of the year it might be helpful for your senior to have a little more help. First, elder care providers are there to ensure that she’s getting plenty of water and that she’s feeling alright. Second, they’re also able to help your elderly family member to conserve her energy and rest instead of being too active when she really shouldn’t be.