Therefore, maintaining hydration would take precedence in many of the illnesses that affect us which can lead to loss of higher than normal body fluids either to the outside or else within the body systems themselves. Among the dehydration related complications, peripheral shutdown, cardiac arrest, shock, renal failure, multi organ damage are considered important as well as life threatening.
Among all age groups, two types of individuals will have a higher than usual susceptibility for dehydration than the rest of the population. These are the very young and the elderly. Infants are susceptible to dehydration basically due to their increased surface area in relation to the body size whereas in the elderly, multiple factors can lead to dehydrations. In any event, both these groups need extra attention in instances where dehydration is likely, such as in extreme heat, exertion, diarrhea, vomiting…etc.
In the elderly age group, maintaining hydration would be a combination of self awareness as well as perseverance by the care givers. Thus, following measures can be used in order to maintain adequate hydration among this age category.
-Drinking enough water throughout the day
Elderly people as with anyone else need to drink about six glasses of water per day and this may need alteration based on any other disease entities that may present at this age. Therefore, if the person suffers from kidney diseases or else from disease states in which excess body fluids are retained, they may have to restrict their intake. At the same time, in males, due to the possibility of the presence of prostate problems, they should not drink plenty of water just before bed time as it might cause disturbed sleep as the person may feel the urge to pass urine frequently.
-Avoiding extreme heats and activities in the hot sun
This can lead to dehydration rather easily and the elderly individuals would be more susceptible for such developments as their level of protection against extreme temperatures would be rather low as well along with the moisture level in the skin and in the tissues being also rather depleted.
-Hydrate before activities which involve over exertion
Drinking an extra glass of water and keeping a bottle of water at hand would be an ideal way of getting yourself prepared for such activities.
-Avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine
This is true especially in long haul flights as it can lead to relative dehydration in the elderly individuals. Thus, making use of alternate drinks would be a reasonable suggestion especially in such instances.
-Obtain medical advice in instances of diarrhea and vomiting
If an elderly person suffers from these conditions, it should not be left untreated and urgent medical attention should be given considering the fact that they could develop dehydration rather rapidly.
Apart from these, elderly persons can also avoid dehydration by using skin moisturizers, being cautious when using diuretic medications, adjusting the life style…etc as well.