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La déshydratation en EHPAD : Pourquoi le risque de déshydratation est-il si important ?

Dehydration in EHPAD: Why is the risk of dehydration so important?

Dehydration in EHPAD: Why is the risk of dehydration so important?

Dehydration in nursing homes:

Two-thirds of the body is made up of water. This means that for a weight of about 70 kilos, the human body contains about 46 liters of water. Nearly 70% of the water is contained in the cells, 20% in the space surrounding the cells and a little less than 10% in the bloodstream. Water is essential for maintaining the health of the body.

When the amount of water consumed matches the amount excreted, the body's water reserves are well balanced. If you are healthy and not sweating excessively, you should drink at least 2-3 liters of fluids a day (about 8 glasses of water) to maintain your fluid balance and protect against certain complications, such as formation of kidney stones.

Dehydration can occur when the body's water supply is insufficient.

Dehydration is not “a disease” strictly speaking, it is a physiological state with more or less important consequences. This physiological state then results from a substantial decrease in fluid within the body. Dehydration can be due to malnutrition, severe diarrhea, or heat, especially in summer. This liquid, in quantity lower than normal, in the case of a state of dehydration, consists essentially of water and mineral salts.

Dehydration can affect anyone, but special attention should be given to the elderly. Indeed, these people do not feel the symptoms of dehydration and therefore do not measure the risks associated with this state.

The causes of dehydration:

Vomiting, diarrhea, excessive sweating, burns, kidney failure and the use of diuretics can be responsible for dehydration...

Diarrhea, the main consequence of dehydration, is caused by:

● a lack of hygiene within EHPADs.

● malnutrition, especially with regard to "water-rich" foods.

● contact and/or hydration with contaminated water.

When diarrhea is not treated immediately, it can be dangerous. Indeed, the loss of water and mineral salts can have significant consequences in the functioning of the body (vital organs, muscles, brain, etc.), and all the more so in the elderly, whose body is weakened.

In practice, we speak of diarrhea when there are more than 3 loose or liquid stools per day. Other signs may be associated: nausea and/or vomiting, abdominal pain (cramps), even fever. There may sometimes appear an excessive loss of fluids, associated with significant dehydration and electrolyte loss (sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine), or even vascular collapse.

Diarrhea is most often benign, and can also occur during winter epidemics of acute viral gastroenteritis, an attack of the intestines... But drugs, bacteria, viruses, other parasites and intoxications in general are also responsible for acute diarrhea that must sometimes be taken seriously, when it lasts more than 3 to 4 days, is accompanied by blood and mucus, a fever above 39 ° C or dehydration.

This state of dehydration can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender or place of residence. Nevertheless, the elderly is a category of people to be considered with more attention. Indeed, as far as the elderly are concerned, they sometimes find it more difficult to hydrate regularly, especially in periods of high heat. In this sense, promoting hydration in this category of people is essential.

Certain medications and treatments are likely to aggravate an exhaustion-dehydration syndrome, according to the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). People with chronic illnesses and the elderly are the first to be affected. According to doctors, a state of severe dehydration can lead to serious consequences, including death.

Symptoms of dehydration:


Dehydration is apparent through certain specific signs, including:

● less need to urinate;

● absence of tears;

● dry tongue, parched lips and skin;

● "greyish" skin;

● depression of the fontanel (soft part of the infant's skull);

Diarrhea, vomiting, are the most demonstrative signs.

Other symptoms can also accompany this diarrheal state: fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or evenabdominal cramps .

The presence of blood in the stool testifies to significant dehydration, this is the most alarming state.

Lack of hydration affects the texture and elasticity of the skin. When the body senses a shortage of water, it is taken from the skin to allow other organs to function. This makes the skin stiff and can make it feel cool and clammy.

Another red flag is urine. For example, color already says a lot about your body's hydration status. Dark or honey-colored urine is a sign of possible dehydration. Urine consists of both water and waste products that must be eliminated by the body. In a well hydrated body, urine turns pale yellow and is odorless. Urinating infrequently can also indicate dehydration as mentioned above.

How to prevent and remedy dehydration in the elderly in nursing homes?

In order to avoid the aggravation of dehydration, it is important to continue a consistent hydration, that is to say nearly 1.5 L of water per day. In the event of diarrhoea, hygiene must be even more careful to limit contamination of the surroundings and the transmission of the germs responsible for this condition: hand washing, disinfection of toilets after use, door handles, etc. doctors in EHPADs can also study the kidney function of the elderly to ensure that their kidneys are working properly or not.

Hydratis can help seniors optimize water absorption, prevent dehydration and ensure rehydration.

Indeed, the Hydratis 50+ solutions, adapted to a senior public, allow water to be better absorbed by the body and thus to have accelerated hydration. In addition, by its formulation rich in mineral salts, such as magnesium as well as trace elements such as manganese and zinc, they improve the body's protection mechanisms, meet the physiological needs of seniors and prevent and relieve the symptoms of dehydration. It is a real metabolic support that is put to the test in the elderly.

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