Believe it or not, 75% of Americans are dehydrated, with the average American drinking only 2.5 cups of water daily. Unfortunately, older adults are more susceptible to becoming dehydrated and have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration. So, what causes dehydration in seniors? What are the signs and risk factors?

Most adults realize when they’re thirsty, but elderly adults oftentimes don’t realize they’re becoming dehydrated, especially during the summer months when we need to hydrate the most, or even during the winter months when we think we don’t need to drink much water because of the weather.


How do we know when we’re getting dehydrated? How can you tell if someone you love is suffering from dehydration? Check out these top minor and major signs of dehydration:

Minor Signs

– Dry mouth
– Dark colored urine
– Lightheadedness
– Fatigue
– Muscle cramping
– Inability to sweat

Major Signs

– Wrinkled skin with no elasticity
– Breathing faster than normal
– Dry, sunken eyes
– Difficulty walking/Falls
– Low blood pressure
– Confusion

One of the biggest risk factors for the elderly is hydration. As we get older, the percentage of water in our body lessens, which can cause health issues. The elderly population is at a greater risk of becoming dehydrated, especially if paired with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Seniors with dementia are 6x more likely to suffer from dehydration.

Because signs of dehydration are more difficult to spot in seniors, this can lead to potentially dangerous complications. Be on the lookout for the following complications of dehydration:


– Heat stroke
– Kidney stones/kidney failure
– Blood clots
– Urinary tract infections
– Seizures
– Low blood volume

Keeping your elderly loved ones as safe and as healthy as possible is critical. Avanti Senior Living not only takes precautions to ensure the safety of your loved ones, but they also take the necessary steps to help fight dehydration:


– Hydration stations throughout the community
– Fruit infused water to entice residents to drink more water
– Daily beverage option with mealtimes for Assisted Living and Memory Care residents
– Daily beverage option offered when 3 snacks are given in Salize
– Offer low sodium soup with lunch and dinner (high water content foods)