Dehydration

Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for hospitalization among the elderly, at a cost of several billion dollars per year. Dehydration can result in serious health problems, such as drop in blood pressure, kidney failure, and even death. The dizziness that often results from dehydration can also cause the client to fall, causing broken bones or other trauma.
Fortunately, dehydration is a preventable condition when it is recognized and treated. Be aware of and report any of the following warning signs to care providers:

  • Weakness, dizziness or headaches
  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Irritability, muscle twitching or restlessness
  • Dark, strong-smelling urine
  • Poor skin turgor (elasticity)
  • Decrease in blood pressure with increase in pulse and respirations
  • Weak pulse