Preventing Dehydration

Seniors can be more at risk for dehydration because they naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies, compared with younger adults, and they may have conditions or take medications that increase their risk of dehydration, according to the Mayo Clinic. This means that even minor illnesses, such as infections affecting the lungs or bladder, can result in dehydration in older adults.

Many people, particularly older adults, don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated. To prevent dehydration, it's important to increase water intake during hot weather or when you're ill. Signs of dehydration can include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less-frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Seek medical care for possible dehydration if you or a loved one has had diarrhea for 24 hours or more, is irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual, can’t keep fluids down, or has bloody or black stool.