The Risk of Dehydration in Dementia Patients

Patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may find it difficult to complete everyday tasks or even remember that they’re supposed to do them. This can lead to a number of risks, such as forgetting to take vital medication. It may even mean that patients forget to drink throughout the day, putting them at risk of dehydration and the complications that can arise from that.

Dehydration among seniors

When we get older, the water content in our bodies becomes lower. This means that it’s even more important for seniors to regularly rehydrate. At the same time, however, our thirst signals get weaker as we age. So, if a senior is only drinking when they feel thirsty, they are likely to become dehydrated.

Add onto this the memory troubles of dementia patients and you can see how they are at an even greater risk. A team of people have created a type of candy that contains 90% water and is designed to encourage dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to stay well-hydrated. Eating candy is much more appealing to patients than drinking water, so this can help many people. These Jelly Drops were designed to be brightly colored to make them as appealing as possible.

Noticing signs of dehydration

If you are caring for someone with dementia, then it helps to know the warning signs of dehydration so you can encourage them to drink more water or get medical help if needed. Here are some symptoms to look out for:

  • Dry and cracked lips
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry skin

Obviously, symptoms like confusion and disorientation may occur frequently due to dementia symptoms, so dehydration can be more difficult to spot in dementia patients. Try to keep an eye out for other accompanying symptoms.

Complications from dehydration

It is important to try to combat dehydration in a senior you’re caring for because it can lead to further problems other than the symptoms listed above. All of our organs and tissues require sufficient water to function, so severe dehydration can lead to hospitalization and even death. Here are a few complications that can arise from severe dehydration:

  • Heatstroke
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Kidney failure

If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, then it can be a good idea to track their daily liquid intake to make sure they are getting enough water. Other than that, just be vigilant and aware of the signs of dehydration so that you can respond early. And if you need support caring for a loved one around Clemmons and Lewisville, NC, then contact Brookstone of Clemmons.