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New Jersey Senior Health
The signs and symptoms of dehydration in an elderly person can be virtually identical to those for dementia, which is why if not treated immediately it can lead to death.
The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration include persistent fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness or cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea, forgetfulness, confusion, deep rapid breathing, or an increased heart rate. Since seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst, dehydration is one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization after age 65.
Other less common signs and symptoms of dehydration can include:
- Excessive loss of fluid through vomiting, urinating, stools or sweating
- Poor intake of fluids, a feeling that they “can’t keep anything down”
- Sunken eyes
- Dry or sticky mucous membranes in the mouth
- Skin that lacks its normal elasticity
- Decreased or absent urine output
- Decreased tears
Almost everyone gets about half their daily water requirement from solid foods and fruit and vegetable juices. However, seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst and a reduced appetite. Those fruits and vegetables seniors should be able to easily consume to lessen the chances of suffering from dehydration include applesauce, apricots, asparagus (cooked), bananas, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli (cooked), cauliflower (cooked), cherries, grapes, raspberries and strawberries.
Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.Â New Jerseyâ€™s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ seniors, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have elder care related questions or need assistance for a loved one.