Key Tips on Hydration for elderly people
Are you aware of their increased risk of dehydration?
The EFSA adult recommendations for the daily intake of water from all sources* (water, beverages and food) do not fall with age under conditions of moderate environmental temperature and moderate physical activity levels. But age-related changes can lead to an increased risk of dehydration with consequent effects on health and wellness.
Special considerations for the elderly
- People usually drink in response to thirst, but by the age of 60, if people only drink when they are thirsty, they may not get as much water as they need.
- Renal concentrating capacity generally declines with the age, leading to an increased loss of water via urine.
- Diminished appetite and poor food choices may lead to a reduction of fluid intake from food.
- Some older adults may suffer from poor memory, immobility, or illness which may affect fluid intake. In addition, certain medications can also block the thirst mechanism.
- Dehydration can cause serious problems in older adults. Elderly people are at greatest risk of dehydration and its potentially life-threatening consequences: People aged between 85-99 years are 6 times more likely to be hospitalised for dehydration than those aged 65-69 years.
- Chronic dehydration constitutes a serious problem and is associated with an increased risk of falls, urinary tract infections, dental disease, bronchopulmonary disorders, kidney stones, constipation, and impaired cognitive function.
Read more about this topic and find a downloadable pdf of Key Tips on Hydration for Elderly people