The Dangers of Dehydration

Our admissions department often receives calls from someone who has a loved one in the hospital with dehydration. Families’ worry it could happen again and are looking for a more supportive environment.

Dehydration is serious. It can lead to confusion, weakness, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and even death. Fluids help our bodies function properly. They help regulate our body temperature, maintain our blood pressure and help us to stay regular.

Summertime leaves everyone at a greater risk of dehydration because we are out and about more, working in the yard, going on walks and sitting in the warmth of the great outdoors. Many homes in the Portland area don’t have air conditioning making for some very warm houses during heat waves. Add to that, the many adults who fear drinking more water will lead to more bathroom trips. More trips to the bathroom are better than more trips to the hospital!

Medications that treat high blood pressure and anti-depressants are diuretics and can contribute to dehydration. Other medications may cause patients to sweat more and as we age our sense of thirst decreases.

At Hearthstone, we encourage residents to stay hydrated and it doesn’t have to be solely by drinking fluids. Many salads and fruits have high water content and we offer a delicious variety along with cool refreshing beverages and frozen treats.

Know the signs:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dangerous and more serious signs of dehydration may include confusion, muscle cramping, heart palpitations, unable to sweat and a decrease in urination.