Dehydration increases with age — which is a simple way of noting that our elders are more prone to dehydration than other age groups.

During the hot summer months, our community elders and family loved ones need a little extra “tender loving care” during the hot summer months.

Senior dehydration is a common health issue that can lead to bigger problems if proper hydration is not made a priority, such as urinary tract infections and low blood pressure. Proper hydration helps to keep the body and vitals regulated. The University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65.

What Can Cause Dehydration?

There are a number of reasons the elderly are so prone to dehydration:

— The ability to notice changes in body temperature typically decreases with age.
— As people get older, body water content decreases.
— Many medications the elderly take make them more susceptible to dehydration.
— The elderly often experience diminished thirst; which leads to a reduced fluid consumption.
— With aging, the kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water during water deprivation.
— Specific conditions, such as reduced swallowing capacity, decreased mobility, comprehension and communication disorders, as well as, decreased mobility and/or incontinence can contribute to dehydration.
— Many seniors have underlying health conditions that make them less able to adapt to heat.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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