Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Seniors are at greater risk for dehydration than younger adults.  As a care provider, you should monitor your residents for this potentially serious condition.  The Mayo Clinic suggests looking for the following signs and symptoms.
Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Lack of sweating
  • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
  • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

If you identify signs or symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration, report them to a medical provider immediately.  Seek immediate medical attention if you believe the resident is experiencing severe dehydration.

One Response to “Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration”

  1. Great article! Chronic Dehydration is serious and if not treated can lead to many medical issues. It is recommended to drink at least 1/2 your body in ounces of water per day. As we grow older, following the above recommendation can tough! Drinking a few glasses of water a day is better than none!

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