What Happens to Seniors When They’re Dehydrated?

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The body needs to stay hydrated to function properly on a daily basis. Dehydration is caused when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. Seniors have a variety of health concerns that may be attributed to other conditions but in actuality are caused by dehydration. Here are a few common symptoms of dehydration. 


Dehydration often causes fatigue in older adults. Studies have shown even moderate dehydration can make older adults feel sleepy even after a good night’s rest. Drinking one or two glasses of water when feeling tired can renew energy quickly. 

Increasing fluid intake is one of the simplest ways to lower the risk of dehydration and fatigue. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.


Chronic headaches are often misidentified as serious health issues when dehydration could be the cause. When a person becomes dehydrated, the brain loses water and actually begins to shrink and pull away from the skull. The pain receptors inside the brain are triggered, resulting in a headache. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can alleviate these types of dehydration headaches.


Mental confusion or fogginess is one of the primary symptoms of dehydration. This symptom in aging adults is often mistaken for a “senior moment” when in fact it’s dehydration. In severe cases, medical treatment may be required.

Dehydration is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care service. Tucson families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Muscle Cramps

Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps in older adults. This is especially problematic for active seniors who sweat during activity. The nerves around the muscles need to be surrounded by water or they become hypersensitive. This is when the muscles may begin to contract or spasm. Seniors need to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.


Light-headedness and dizziness are two common symptoms of dehydration in seniors. The body needs fluids to operate properly, and without the right amount, it will take them from nearby tissues. Proper hydration may be the solution to this disruptive condition. Fluids can be easily replenished simply by drinking water, but eating fruits and vegetables with high water content will also help the body stay hydrated.

To ensure your loved one is eating well and staying hydrated, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Tucson, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to learn more about our high-quality home care services.


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