Hydration Lacking in Older Adults
Long Term Care Residents and Hydration
In a study done by the author of this article, 31% of the LTC residents she followed over six months were dehydrated.
A different study found that 48% of older adults admitted from Emergency Departments had laboratory values indicative of dehydration.
Would you be surprised to know that sufficient fluid consumption has been associated with fewer falls, less constipation and laxative use, improved rehabilitation in orthopedic patients and a reduction in bladder cancer (among men)? In fact, drinking five or more 8-oz. glasses of water a day is also associated with lower rates of fatal coronary heart disease in middle-age and older adults.
How astute are you at assessing for dehydration among your older patients? Do you know that the body's thirst response becomes blunted with age? It's true, and as a consequence, many of your patients may be dehydrated