Dehydration affects 20% to 30% of older adults. It has a greater negative outcome in this population than in younger adults and increases mortality, morbidity, and disability. Dehydration is often caused by water deprivation in older adults, although excess water loss may also be a cause. Traditional markers for dehydration do not take into consideration many of the physiological differences present in older adults. Clinical assessment of dehydration in older adults poses different findings, yet is not always diagnostic. Treatment of dehydration should focus on prevention and early diagnosis before it negatively effects health and gives rise to comorbidities. The current article discusses what has most thoroughly been studied; the best strategies and assessment tools for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of dehydration in older adults; and what needs to be researched further. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 41(9), 8-13.].
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