The Correlation Between Falls & Dehydration

The Correlation Between Falls and Dehydration
The Correlation Between Falls and Dehydration

How Hydration Monitoring Helps

The most common injury and hospitalisation reason for older persons is falls. Ineffective hydration monitoring can lead to dehydration which is one factor that has been linked to falls in older people. Falls and dehydration have been found to be strongly correlated in older individuals, especially those over 65, according to research.

When the body sheds more fluid than it absorbs, dehydration results. Due to a number of factors, including a diminished sense of thirst, medication side effects, and mobility issues that may make it more challenging to access fluids, older people are more likely to become dehydrated. Falls are just one of the health issues that dehydration can cause.

Paper Based Systems Can’t Raise Active Prompts

Example of hydration monitoring prompt.
Real-time alerts for hydration prompts via the AVERio mobile app

Dehydration is a frequent issue for older people, according to research from the UK. Traditional paper based hydration monitoring methods are cumbersome as they require someone to keep written records of fluid intake and these systems do not have the ability to raise active prompts.

About 20% of older people admitted to hospitals were found to be dehydrated, according to a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) study, and dehydration was linked to lengthier hospital stays and a higher risk of mortality.

Dehydration was found to be significantly related to falls in older adults, according to another UK research. According to the research, older people who were dehydrated had a higher risk of falling than those who were properly hydrated. Dehydration may impair balance and coordination, increasing the likelihood of falls, according to the experts. 

Increased Risk of Falling when Dehydrated

Dehydration can also cause other health issues, such as lightheadedness, disorientation, and low blood pressure, which raise the risk of falling. Older people who experience these symptoms may find it challenging to keep their balance, which increases their risk of falling. 

Therefore, preventing dehydration in older people is crucial to lowering the risk of falling. Active hydration monitoring systems can help care staff achieve this seamlessly by setting hydration targets and prompting the care team if these are not met.

Setting hydration monitoring alert thresholds.
Set individual hydration targets and see hydration progress across the week.

Encouraging older people to consume more fluids (especially water) and being able to see fluid intake in real time across an entire service is a game changer and remove any need to rely on paper based systems. Other practical ways to help prevent dehydration include limiting intake of diuretic beverages like coffee and tea and ensuring older people have simple access to fluids. Care teams can also make sure fluids are consumed (or at least offered) with every meal.

Recognise Dehydration Symptoms

It’s also critical to recognise the symptoms of depletion in seniors. These include frequent, irregular urination, dark urine, dry lips, and tongue. Encourage older adults who are exhibiting these symptoms to consume more fluids.

There are other actions that can be taken to lower the risk of falls in older people in addition to avoiding dehydration. Regular exercise can help with balance and strength, as can making sure the home or environment is safe and clear of hazards and checking medications to see if there are any side effects that could make falling more likely.

In conclusion, dehydration affects older people frequently in the UK and is closely linked to falls. Hydration monitoring can help ensure older people are consuming the right level of fluids each day and can spot any significant changes early.

The risk of falls in this population can be decreased by preventing dehydration with straightforward measures like encouraging older people to drink more fluids and making sure drinks are readily available. In order to improve older adults’ general health and wellbeing, healthcare professionals should be conscious of the symptoms of dehydration and take action to address this problem.

What You Can Do

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can help keeping your residents hydrated, we’ve put together this infographic showing how technology can assist with hydration monitoring and prompts.


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