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Last week in Health & Exercise Forum, we discussed dehydration as a potentially life-threatening problem, especially in those over 60. Summer heat and humidity are here and the risk of heat related illnesses are greater than normal. Age, diet, illness and medications are some of the many reasons why elders suffer from dehydration not only in the summer heat, but year round. Furthermore, age related changes in 50-60 year olds can also make one vulnerable to dehydration, especially if they are active and exercise in the heat.

It is widely accepted that the best treatment for dehydration is prevention.  One must take a proactive approach to ensure and/or encourage adequate fluid intake, especially with age and in high temperatures. Consider some of the following practical tips to promote optimal hydration.

Remember, knowledge and awareness of the symptoms of and the prevention of dehydration can reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and maximize health and well-being for the elderly and not-so-elderly individual. 

Visit your doctor regularly and listen to your body.     

 Keep moving, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and live long and well!

Contributor: Janet M. Caputo, DPT, OCS

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This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at GCSOM. For all of Dr. Mackarey's articles, check out our exercise forum!