Florida nursing home workers need to make sure that their residents are well hydrated. As people age, they run greater risks of dehydration, and if a senior is unable to exercise proper self-care, it is up to a caregiver to make sure the senior receives proper liquids. There are a number of reasons why elderly individuals need special attention when it comes to remaining hydrated.
The Cleveland Clinic explains that the older you get, the less you feel the sensation of thirst. This means even though an elderly person may require something to drink, that person may not experience the same sense of thirst as most people and will not feel compelled to seek out liquids. And if the senior cannot move without assistance, it is even easier to forgo finding something to drink.
Sometimes it is hard to tell when seniors are dehydrated. Older people have a wide variety of health ailments that symptoms of dehydration might also be attributed to. These include fatigue, feelings of dizziness, muscle cramps and a dry mouth. A loved one might mistake these symptoms for the effects of growing older that occur naturally, or the side effects of medication the senior is taking.
If your relative stays in a nursing home, A Place For Mom recommends checking to see if the home has a hydration program that helps residents stay hydrated. Such a program should make sure seniors have water available to them even between regular meals and that assistance is rendered to seniors who have trouble eating or drinking on their own. A nursing home should also monitor seniors for signs of dehydration, such as unexpected weight loss.
If dehydration goes undetected for too long, it can be life-threatening. Because signs of dehydration can be mistaken for other ailments, it is important to know the various ways a senior can show dehydration and be ready to act accordingly. Nursing homes should also be aware of these risks and have procedures in place to address them.