As the summer season wanes, the temperatures are still quite warm. So it is important to be aware of the potentially dangerous effects caused by sun exposure and heat. Staying hydrated can be difficult for older adults, especially those suffering with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.
Elderly dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization—one of the ten most frequent admitting diagnoses for Medicare hospitalizations, according to the Health Care Financing Administration—and it can be life-threatening if severe enough.
As we age, our bodies retain less and less water and our sense of thirst diminishes. Individuals with progressive memory loss may not be able to communicate their thirst or they may simply forget to drink, which can lead to dehydration.
The moderate effects of dehydration include thirst, dry skin, dizziness, headaches, weakness, and irritability. More severe symptoms can include low blood pressure, fainting, convulsions, rapid breathing, a lack of elasticity in the skin, and a fast, weak pulse. If you are caring for an elder loved one with dementia who is experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Arden Courts Memory Care Community in Livonia is offering hydration information to family caregivers of older adults with memory loss. “We keep our residents and their families informed on the importance of hydration, especially during warm weather months. We want to share that information with the greater community as well,” said Gary Kosten, Executive Director.
For more information about hydration as part of daily dementia care and a brochure on Warm Weather Safety for Older Adults, please stop by Arden Courts Memory Care Community, 32500 Seven Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152 or call 248-426-7055. Ask for Jane Frost.