Over 75s at increased risk during hot weather and need to drink regularly

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As hot weather continues people are being asked to look out for frail and elderly neighbours, family and friends wherever social distancing guidelines can be applied.

Dehydration among frail people aged over 75 leads to increased and unnecessary hospital admissions. Dehydration can lead to urinary tract infection (UTI) and kidney damage, both of which are serious. UTI can also cause confusion and dizziness which can increase the risk of falls.

Older frail people are more vulnerable to dehydration during hot weather, and due to Coronvavirus some are more isolated than usual.

Dr Steve Fawcett, a Staffordshire CCG Medical Director, explained: “There are lots of changes that occur as we age that increase our risk of dehydration.

“Some older people have a decreased sensation of thirst. Diabetes, dementia, problems with eyesight, a fear of falling or difficulty swallowing can also contribute to older people becoming dehydrated. Some medications also mean you need to take extra liquid.

“I would ask anyone who has contact with older people during the hot weather to try and make sure they have easy access to fluids, like a jug of water nearby, and that they are drinking regularly.

“Dehydration is a common contributor to ill health and admissions to hospital for older people but it is preventable.”

People will find that their local community pharmacy can advise on dehydration. If you are feeling unwell and need advice then NHS 111 is the number to call.