Parenting Upward

Recognizing and preventing senior dehydration symptoms

Senior dehydration risks are high

Senior’s dehydration risk still high



Senior dehydration can be serious, but it is easy to prevent.

Summer is starting to wind down,  however, senior’s dehydration risk is still high as  portions of the country are still seeing record temperatures.  One of the top 10 reasons for hospitalizations for Medicare beneficiaries is dehydration, according to th Health Care Financing Administration.

Seniors dehydration risks is increased due to:

  • The effects of common medications, like diuretics
  • Seniors may not feel thirst as acutely
  • As one ages, the body loses water as they lose muscle mass and increase fat
  • As one ages, the kidneys slowly lose their effectiveness as removing toxins from our bodies

Signs of early dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dark or deep yellow urine
  • May complain of feeling weak
  • May complain of headaches
  • May have limb cramps
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Racing heart rate

You can test for dehydration by pulling up the skin, gently, on the back of the hand for a couple of seconds, if it does not return to normal color and elasticity in a few seconds after letting go, your loved one is likely dehydrated.

If your loved one is already showing signs of dehydration, then a sports drink or a electrolyte drink solution will help them re-hydrate more quickly, when accompanying  water. 

Senior dehydration risks factors are numerous, but manageable.

To prevent senior dehydration remind your parent or loved one to have water near by, like a bottle or cup, at all time.  It is a good idea to have on by their bed, maybe in the bathroom, and by their favorite chair or lounging spot.

  • Encourage them to drink often
  • Encourage them to minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Encourage healthy water rich foods, like vegetables, salads, fruits and soups


Senior dehydration can be serious  and life threatening if not recognized or addressed in time’ so it is important to help keep your parent or loved one well hydrated.