Aging Parents, Thirst, Dehydration– Part 2

Skin turgor

8 Signs of Dehydration and a Quick Test for Dehydration 

Now that we know about the faulty thirst mechanism in older people, shouldn’t we–and they– know the signs of dehydration?
1.  Dark urine
2.  Small amount of urine
3.  Rapid heart rate
4.  Headaches
5.  Dizziness upon standing up
6.  Flushed, dry skin
7.  Coated tongue
8.  Irritability and confusion

Wikepedia elaborates in this definition:

Dehydration symptoms generally become noticeable after 2% of one’s normal water volume has been lost. Initially, one experiences thirst and discomfort, possibly along with loss of appetite and dry skin. This can be followed by constipation.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst, decreased urine volume, abnormally dark urine, unexplained tiredness, irritability, lack of tears when crying, headache, dry mouth, dizziness, and in some cases insomnia.

The Quick Test: Skin Turgor

Skin turgor

A decrease in skin turgor is indicated when the skin (on the back of the hand for an adult or on the abdomen for a child) is pulled up for a few seconds and does not return to its original state. A decrease in skin turgor is a late sign of dehydration.

Mother normally didn’t drink much water, as mentioned in the preceding post. But she didn’t want problems like the under-disolved pill incident ever again. This skin test became a self-check that she was only too happy to do on herself–she became a converted water, flavored water, and non-caffine beverage drinker.

If these last 2 posts resonate, perhaps the skin turgor test will compensate for the old thirsty switch in your parents (and they’ll want to self-check like my mother did) –as we try to help parents age well.

More about skin turgor:
…about the dehydration and hot weather:

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