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Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Signs and symptoms of dehydration, like those of many other treatable health conditions, can be virtually identical to senile dementia symptoms, age dementia symptoms and Alzheimers symptoms. Correcting dehydration can allow an older person to return to a full and normal life.

The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration include persistent fatigue, lethargy, muscle weakness or cramps, headaches, dizziness, nausea, forgetfulness, confusion, deep rapid breathing, or an increased heart rate. Dehydration is a very serious condition, more than most people realize. Since seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst, dehydration is one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization after age 65.

Other less common signs and symptoms of dehydration can include:

Next Step

If you or a loved one have any of these symptoms, and they are persistent for 2 to 3 days, call a doctor immediately — or go to a hospital emergency room. If left untreated, dehydration can quickly cause severe problems, even death.

To help you find the right local eldercare services for your loved one, you could use the ElderCarelink service which has established a nationwide network of carefully screened eldercare providers and facilities. ElderCarelink provides this referral service free of charge.

Within minutes of completing their brief Needs Survey, you will receive a detailed email report listing care providers in your area who match your specific requirements. Last year, over 100,000 families utilized this service in their search for high-quality senior care. Click here to use the ElderCarelink service.

How to avoid dehydration

Almost everyone gets about half their daily water requirement from solid foods and fruit and vegetable juices. But seniors often have a reduced sense of thirst and a reduced appetite. Here's the water content (by weight) of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Include the ones with the highest water content in meals or serve as snacks to help avoid dehydration.

food

% water

Apples (raw)
Applesauce (canned, sweetened)
Apricots (raw)
Apricots (canned)
Asparagus (cooked)
84%
80%
86%
78%
91%
Avocados (raw)
Bananas (raw)
Bell Peppers (raw)
Blackberries (raw)
Blueberries (raw)%
73%
74%
92%
86%
85%
Broccoli (cooked)
Broccoli (flower clusters, raw)
Cabbage (raw)
Cantaloupe (raw)
Carrots (raw)
91%
91%
92%
90%
88%
Cauliflower (raw)
Cauliflower (cooked)
Celery (raw)
Cherries (raw)
Corn (1 ear, cooked)
92%
93%
95%
81%
70%
Cucumbers (raw)
Grapefruit (pink or red, raw)
Grapes (raw)
Honeydew Melon (raw)
Kiwi fruit (raw)
96%
91%
81%
90%
83%
Lettuce (raw)
Mangoes (raw)
Nectarines (raw)
Olives (ripe, canned)
Oranges (raw)
96%
82%
86%
80%
87%
Peaches (raw)
Peaches (canned)
Pears (raw)
Pears (canned)
Plums (raw)
88%
79%
84%
80%
85%
Potato (baked)
Raspberries (raw)
Strawberries (raw)
Tangerines (raw)
Tomatoes (raw)
Watermelons (raw)
75%
87%
92%
88%
94%
92%

age dementia symptoms

Information Source

This information was found on the MEDLINEplus Web site. For more information, click on dehydration symptoms.

MEDLINEplus is a gold mine of up-to-date, quality health care information assembled by the Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. To go to MEDLINEplus, click here.

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