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Summer nutrition programs for seniors

Dehydration: Risk Factors and Symptoms

July 18, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

Although we are not experiencing the extreme heat wave that is occurring out west, it does get pretty warm and humid here in the Northeast at times. As the heat increases so does our risk for dehydration. Dehydration happens when the amount of fluid you drink is less than the amount your body loses through sweat, urine and other body functions.

Some risk factors for dehydration:

Fluid loss and increased fluid needs (e.g. diarrhea, fever, uncontrolled diabetes, medications, heat etc.)

Fluid restriction secondary to renal dialysis or congestive heart failure.

Functional impairments that make it difficult to drink or reach fluids or communicate fluid needs (e.g. speech or swallowing impairments following a stroke)

Forgetting or refusing to drink

Signs of dehydration:

Dry skin ( lack of elasticity when you pinch a small amount of skin on the arm it doesn't snap back as fast as it should) and mucous membranes (nose, mouth, lips or tongue tongue may appear dry and furrowed)

Thirst and dry mouth

A decrease in urination and/or urine that is dark in color. If you are drinking adequately urine should be a very pale yellow.

Significant unintentional weight loss

Elevated temperatures, headache, or flushed appearance.


New onset or increased confusion

What to do to avoid dehydration:

Drink additional fluids when you take your medications

Keep a water bottle close and available at all times as a reminder and drink every hour or two

If you don't like water drink a variety of fluids such as: broths, coffee, gelatin/Jell-O, ice cream or Sherbet/ices, popsicles, low-fat milk, tea, flavor your water, juice / water and eat lots of water packed fruits. Keep your drinks low sugar and low fat whenever possible.

Save the Dates:

Farmer Market Coupon distribution: Dunkirk Tuesday July 16th and Jamestown - Friday, July 19th

OFA Summer Picnic: Friday, August 9th.

** Please remember to contribute toward your OFA nutrition services if you can. These programs are not sustainable at current levels without the support of participant contributions. Be aware that Food Stamps can be used toward your contribution. I do not want to have to make any further cuts to nutrition services. Thank you for your support.

Chautauqua County Office for the Aging Senior Nutrition Program provides nutritious noon meals at several Congregate Dining Sites throughout the county along with a Restaurant Dining Out Program. Our Dietitian, Cheryl Walhstrom, RD is available for nutrition counseling in your home at no cost to you. We also sponsor several exercise programs. Call the office for more details and information. 753-4471, 661-7471, or 363-4471



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