While there are many physical and cognitive signs that your senior’s health is waning, one of the more subtle ones is dehydration.

Dehydration in seniors is a serious issue, and many are unaware that they’re suffering. This can cause lethargy, confusion, dizziness, apathy, and even death. So what’s happening; what’s causing seniors to become dehydrated without them knowing?

1. Medications

Many medications specify that they need to be taken with water, this isn’t so seniors can swallow them more easily, but because many types of drugs are diuretics. So even if they’re drinking a lot of water, a lot of it is exiting the body as well.

2. Coffee and Tea

There was a “myth” that coffee and tea dehydrate you, but that’s not entirely true.

The myth was generated from the fact that coffee and tea are diuretics, meaning that, yes, they’ll dehydrate you because they make you use the bathroom more, but not due to their substance. Coffee and tea are largely made up of water, so they are putting liquids back into your body, you just need to ensure, for your seniors’ sake, that it’s more than what’s going out.

3. Appetite

Many people confuse hunger for thirst–even as children–so as we get older, and our senses wane further, it’s not hard to see why seniors are drinking less.

Plus, depending on your elder, they may be experiencing a loss of appetite–which of course isn’t healthy either and can lead to further dehydration since their body’s needs are misplaced.

4. Social

It may sound strange at first, but many people eat and drink less often when they’re less social. For seniors who stop going out, they’re probably drinking less, but–and this is doubly important to make note of–seniors who are living on their own are more likely to suffer from dehydration and malnutrition.

Essentially, if your elderly parent has recently lost their spouse, they’re at a much higher risk.

5. Kidneys and Other Organs

Just as our senses wane, so do our bodily functions and organs. For many seniors, their bodies may not be absorbing all the water they can.

Additionally, for seniors who suffer from arthritis or chronic pains of any kind, they may be less motivated to get up and get some water when they’re thirsty, choosing instead to stay seated until they absolutely need to get up.

How Can You Stay Hydrated?

The 8 glasses of water a day rule doesn’t apply and there’s no science behind it. Instead what doctors recommend is that you weigh yourself every morning. If you notice a significant loss of weight, you’re probably not drinking enough water.

This method has helped many people in the past stay adequately hydrated.

It’s important to stay hydrated especially as we age because are bodies are in a more frail state of being. Your headaches may be the result of a dehydrated brain and if that’s the case, then your brain may swell and cause serious side-effects! So weigh yourself everyday, check what pills are diuretics and make sure you’re drinking more than you’re putting out.