UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: dehydration in the elderly

Keywords: elderly, dehydration (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/2/2009 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 10/21/2021)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Hypovolemia is very common in the ederly for two reasons:

1. The elderly have a decreased thirst response...in other words, it takes longer for them to develop thirst in the setting of dehydration.

2. The elderly have a decreased renal vasopressin response to hypovolemia.

From a treatment standpoint, one should always assume an elderly patient is hypovolemic. Hydration is incredibly important during resuscitation of the elderly patient.