Staying well-hydrated is super important, especially for older folks like me. You see, there’s this study from UCLA that says 40% of seniors might not be drinking enough water regularly.
And that’s not good because it can lead to some serious health issues like urinary tract infections, falls, kidney stones, and more. In fact, people who are 65 years old and older end up in the hospital the most for dehydration.
Now, let me tell you why older adults are more likely to get dehydrated. First off, we naturally have less water in our bodies as we get older.
Plus, sometimes we have health problems or take medications that make us lose water, like those blood pressure pills that can flush it out. And there are a few more reasons:
Why We Get Dehydrated
- We don’t always feel thirsty like we used to.
- Our bodies don’t do as good a job keeping the right amount of fluids inside.
- Our kidneys aren’t as efficient at conserving water.
- Some of our medicines can give us side effects like diarrhea or make us sweat a lot.
Now, let’s talk about the signs of dehydration. Sometimes, the early signs in older adults can be tricky because they look like other health problems or side effects from medicine. But it’s way easier to fix mild dehydration than to deal with the big problems from serious dehydration. Knowing the signs helps us take action sooner:
First Dehydration Symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Dark pee or just a little bit of it
- Feeling tired
- Getting dizzy
- Cramps in our muscles
- Feeling weak or unwell
- Being sleepy or grumpy
More Serious Dehydration Symptoms:
- Low blood pressure
- Trouble walking
- Fast but weak pulse
- A swollen belly
- Skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it
- Dry and sunken eyes
- Breathing too fast
- Really bad cramps and muscle contractions
- Even seizures sometimes
But dehydration isn’t just uncomfortable; it can mess with how our medications work and lead to some scary stuff like heatstroke, fainting, urinary tract infections, kidney problems, seizures, blood clots, and something called hypovolemic shock (which means not enough blood in our bodies).
Well, a general rule is to drink about one-third of our body weight in pounds as ounces of water.
Like, if we weigh 150 pounds, we should aim for around 50 ounces of water a day.
That’s about six glasses of 8 ounces each. But if it’s super hot or dry outside, we need even more water.
But remember, everyone’s different. So it’s smart to chat with our doctor to figure out how much water is just right for us, especially if we’re taking different meds or have special health needs.
Now, let’s talk about why it’s worth all this effort. Staying hydrated isn’t just about avoiding problems; it has some cool perks too:
- Less constipation, which means we might not need those yucky laxatives.
- Fewer falls because we’re steadier on our feet.
- Less chance of getting a pesky urinary tract infection.
- Men might even have a lower risk of bladder cancer.
- And there’s a smaller chance of colorectal cancer too.
So, let’s keep sippin’ that water to stay healthy and feel good!
Eddie Vandam realized when he was getting older that it was hard to find information about products for seniors and decided to share his experiences here on the website to help others. Read more.