Dehydration occurs when the body is losing more water than it is taking in. For elderly nursing home residents, the dehydration is associated with higher mortality rates. Common causes of dehydration in the elderly include:
● Medications that act as diuretics, such as some medications for high blood pressure or antidepressants
● Loss of the sense of thirst due to advanced age or cognitive impairment
● Loss of mobility that prevents obtaining fluids when thirsty
● Loss of cognitive ability to notify a caregiver of their fluid needs
● Loss of the kidney’s ability to conserve fluid
● Acute illnesses, especially one that causes fever, vomiting and/or diarrhea, also can cause elderly dehydration.