Older adults are often at an increased risk for dehydration for many reasons such as taking certain medications, not feeling the urge to drink as often, or having a physical condition that makes it difficult to drink. Quiz yourself and your loved ones:
- I am older than 85.
- I am female.
- I have diabetes, urinary incontinence or kidney disease.
- I have frequent fevers, vomiting or diarrhea.
- I take laxatives, diuretics, or sedatives.
- I drink less than 6 cups of fluids each day.
- I often have dark yellow urine.
- I have problems swallowing.
If you answer “YES” to any of the statements, you or someone you love is at a higher risk for becoming dehydrated. It is important to prevent dehydration because it can lead to serious health problems. Encourage yourself and others to drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day, even if you aren’t thirsty. Try plain or flavored water, 100% fruit juices, low-sodium soups and vegetable juice, diluted sports drinks, and low-fat or fat free milk. Tea and coffee also can help you stay hydrated.