High Temperatures Prompt Dehydration Warning from SCAN Health Plan Arizona
(PHOENIX, AZ – July 20, 2011) — Seniors are six times more likely to be admitted to the hospital due to dehydration than adults ages 45-64. Prompted by the summer heat, SCAN Health Plan Arizona is issuing a warning to seniors to stay hydrated and know the signs of dehydration.
“Dehydration is a serious issue for older adults,” said Dr. Timothy Schwab, SCAN’s chief medical officer. “By the time we recognize and act on some of the signs of dehydration, a senior’s health and well-being can already be in serious trouble.”
As the body ages, it doesn’t store as much water, increasing the need to drink more of it. A lower sense of thirst compounds the problem, which means seniors need to drink even when they don’t feel thirsty. One way to increase water consumption is to drink a few ounces every hour or half hour. Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of water. It is important for seniors and their care providers to be aware of other factors that can impact their ability to remain hydrated, such as swallowing difficulties, certain medications, diabetes and reduced kidney function.
Signs of dehydration that should not be ignored include:
- Loss of appetite
- Becoming lethargic or listless
- Headache, nausea or dizziness
- Confusion or inability to concentrate
- Dark or decreased amount of urine
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
Three simple steps seniors can follow to prevent dehydration are:
- Stay indoors during the hottest hours of the day.
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day.
- Limit (or avoid) alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
“Dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, and preventing it can be as close as the nearest faucet,” added Dr. Schwab.
For more than 30 years, SCAN Health Plan has been focusing on the unique needs of people with Medicare and today is the fourth-largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plan in the United States. SCAN serves nearly 130,000 members in California and Arizona. SCAN Health Plan Arizona has been named one of the area’s best places to work by the Arizona Business Journal and one of the best places to work in healthcare by Modern Healthcare. For further information, visit http://www.scanhealthplan.com.
Members of the news media may contact:
818-597-8453, ext. 3