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Seniors: Watch out for dehydration this summer

July 2, 2012

Extreme heat has already affected vast areas of the country this summer, and aside from being uncomfortable, high temperatures pose a number of risks to the healthy aging of seniors. Specifically, older adults are at a greater risk of dehydration than others, so it is important for them to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the condition.

Seniors are more likely to become dehydrated than young adults for a number of reasons. Chiefly, they tend to eat and drink less than younger people, but their bodies do not retain water as well, according to the Press Democrat.

Since thirst may not be a reliable indicator of dehydration, especially during the summer months, it is crucial to recognize other signs. Things like a dry mouth, headaches, lightheadedness and fatigue may all be symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration, the Mayo Clinic says.

Dehydration can also become much more serious, and there are some signs that are indicative of severe cases, which often require medical attention. Symptoms such as shriveled and dry skin, sunken eyes, rapid breathing and heartbeat, and a lack of sweating may be signals of a more serious issue.