As your loved one gets older, you as a caregiver need to continually watch for signs of illness. Your loved one may not be able to recognize health problems as they develop, and/or may not be able to communicate her concerns to you.
One common problem for the elderly is dehydration. This problem may show only minor signs, but it can have a huge negative effect on your loved one.
Dehydration in the elderly can occur due to various medications; some high blood pressure drugs, for example, are diuretic. Some drugs may also cause her to sweat more.
Another issue is that one's sense of thirst diminishes with age, so they may rely on you the caregiver for liquids, but you may not know how to tell your loved one is thirsty.
Also, our bodies' kidney function declines after the age of 50, but this is especially so after 70.
Signs of Dehydration
- Problems walking
- Dizziness and headache
- Low blood pressure
- Fast heart rate
- Decrease in urination
- Decrease in skin turgor - pull up skin on the back of the hand. If it does not snap back in a few seconds, she is dehydrated.
How to Monitor Hydration Level
Keep an eye on your loved one's body weight. You can weigh her every morning, and if she has lost two pounds or more from 24 hours earlier, they probably are dehydrated.
To make drinking easier for your loved one, we recommend that you consider one of our drinking-related products.
Granny Joe Dignity Mug - Ceramic mug that gives more stability for shaky hands; especially good for your loved one with Parkinson's disease.
Drinking Straw Holder - This product clips easily to the lip of a glass or cup.