This can be for a variety of reasons, but a common reason is that deteriorating muscles make it more difficult for them to get up and move around, which discourages them from simply going into the kitchen for a glass of water.
Some of them also find it difficult to regularly get up to go to the bathroom, so they purposely reduce the amounts of fluids they consume so they do not have to urinate as frequently.
A factor in elderly dehydration is the increased risk of contracting illnesses such as the common cold and influenza.These illnesses cause fluid loss that is not easily replenished.While the patients realize that these medications are diuretics, they often overlook their need to add more fluids to their daily diet as they take their prescribed medications, and this causes many of them to become dehydrated.Sometimes people in advanced years who live on their own do not drink enough water or other fluids to maintain their health.However, these symptoms may not be evident in elderly patients.
Headaches alone do not necessarily indicate dehydration, but combined with any other symptom could identify possible dehydration.
More symptoms to look for include: dizziness, dry mouth, sudden problems with mobility, low blood pressure or severe change in blood pressure when standing up, rapid resting heart rate, irregularity in body temperature (too cold or feeling hot without producing sweat), inability to produce tears, or “sunken” eyes.
Patients who are bed-ridden experience bedsores more readily when dehydrated than those who are able to get up and move around frequently.
Typically, an increase in their fluid intake will relieve these symptoms.
However, these two symptoms can be indications of a number of different conditions.
Friends and family who regularly visit with their loved one may not realize that the person is dehydrated until they are in an emergent situation.