Older people need to drink more water, study shows

Older people need to drink more water, study shows

In a new study, researchers found many older people don’t drink enough water every day.

This could lead to other health problems, such as infections and falls.

The research was conducted by researchers from the UCLA School of Nursing.

Previous studies have shown that dehydration accounts for a 5% increase in emergency room visits between 2008 and 2012. People older than 65 have the highest rates for dehydration.

The most common health issue linked to dehydration is urinary tract infection.

In the current study, the team examined 53 adults at two senior centers and one adult day care center in Los Angeles.

They tested the urine samples and salivary osmolality of these people.

Salivary osmolality compares the ratio of water to certain chemicals naturally in saliva. It can be measured with a simple, noninvasive instrument that requires a sample about the same volume as a teardrop.

It is a useful tool for examining underhydration and dehydration in people.

The researchers found about 40% of community-dwelling older people may be underhydrated chronically.

The condition is often under-recognized in older people. This could cause severe dehydration and other health problems such as urinary tract infections and frequent falls.

The team also found that a fear of overnight incontinence was one of the biggest reasons for dehydration in the morning in older people.

Many older people try to avoid nocturnal incontinence or having to get up to the bathroom at night. But this can increase the risk of fall, which can be life-threatening.

They suggest that many older people are underhydrated for a long time. When these people are exposed to a virus or bacteria, they have high risks to develop infections.

Although the infection can be treated, their dehydration problem is often ignored. Therefore, it is important that older people drink enough water every day.

Particularly, they should care in the morning and have a glass of water nearby to drink before starting the day.

The researchers also suggest in health care programs, nurses should check and encourage older people to drink adequate water throughout the day.

Family caregivers also should be aware of this problem and help older people doing more water.

One author of the study is Janet Mentes, professor of nursing at UCLA.

The study is published in SAGE Open Nursing.

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