Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Dehydration danger for older adults
Dehydration (thirst) can be life threatening. Make sure older adults have enough good drinking water and that they drink it. Older adults can be at risk for dehydration because of
- a decreased thirst sensation and do not feel the urge to drink as often as younger people.
- medications that increase the risk of dehydration.
- physical conditions that make it difficult to drink.
Also, exposure to microorganisms in unsafe water can make people sick, and may cause diarrhea which increases the risk of dehydration.
Signs of dehydration:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Low or no urine output; concentrated urine appears dark yellow
- Lack of tear drops
- Sunken eyes
- Lethargic or comatose (with severe dehydration)
When you are concerned or unsure about the quality of your water, you must treat it or find an alternative source of water until the problem is fixed. More about treating drinking water.