Detecting dehydration in older people: Useful tests

Lee Hooper, Diane Bunn

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

10 Scopus citations


Dehydration is common in older people, leading to longer hospital stays and increased disability and mortality. Health professionals can diagnose water-loss dehydration by taking a blood sample and measuring serum osmolality, but a lessinvasive test would be useful. Evidence that tests, clinical signs or questions tested to date are useful when screening for dehydration in older people is limited. This article looks at known risk factors, signs and tests for dehydration, and outlines evidence on how useful they have proven to be. Part 2 describes how a care home has used a multicomponent strategy to improve hydration.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationNursing times
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dehydration
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Older people
  • Screening


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