With temperatures soaring above 100 degrees in the Valley this time of year everyone, especially older adults, is vulnerable to becoming dehydrated.
Dr. Alejandro Pineda, hospitalist for 4C Medical Group, part of OptumCare AZ, said besides the extreme heat, people are wearing cloth face masks and coverings due to the COVID-19 pandemic and might be less likely to drink the normal amount of water or other hydrating fluids. Older adults are especially vulnerable to dehydration because they are more likely to have chronic medical issues that change the normal body response, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As people age, they retain less water in their bodies and are less inclined to sense and appropriately react to temperature changes with enough fluid consumption.
Pineda recommends older adults follow the National Institute on Aging’s recommendations to drink plenty of liquids, including water or fruit or vegetable juices. Seniors also are urged to avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine and to keep their homes as cool as possible. Pineda suggests older adults dress for the weather and not to exercise or do many activities outdoors when it is hot outside.
Signs that someone is dehydrated include feeling very thirsty, having a dry mouth and urinating and sweating less than usual. Dark-colored urine, dry skin, fatigue and dizziness are other symptoms of dehydration. To learn more about OptumCare, visit optumcare.com. For more health tips for seniors, visit nia.nih.gov.