Managing dehydration with Hydralyte

Dehydration is an easily treatable and preventable condition but is often under-recognised.

Dehydration is an easily treatable and preventable condition but is often under-recognised.1,2

Dehydration is a pressing health issue for many older adults, particularly those in home or residential care settings.2 A lack of awareness and understanding may be a significant factor in its occurrence and its profound consequences on health outcomes and quality of life for older adults.3

Why are older adults more susceptible to dehydration?

The ageing process brings about physiological changes that make older adults more susceptible to dehydration — exacerbated by additional stress factors such as illness, cognitive decline or medications.4,5

Progressive age-related physiological changes include:

  • Diminished sense of thirst — where they are less likely to recognise when to replace water loss5
  • Decreased appetite – solid foods account for around 20 per cent of total daily fluid intake6,5
  • Reduced ability to conserve water— kidney function may decline affecting the ability to retain water and electrolytes4,5
  • Lower ‘water reserves’ – older adults have a 10-15 per cent reduction in total body water compared to ‘younger’ adults.4,5,7

Why hydration matters

Hydration is vital for older adults who want to stay healthy for as long as possible: 5,8

  • Dehydration, by as little as 1-2 per cent of total body water loss, may impair physical and cognitive performance9
  • Dehydration has been linked with cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal disorders as well as poor outcomes after surgery7,10
  • Dehydration may make existing health problems worse11
  • Dehydration increases the risk of emergency admissions and readmissions for older adults.1,10

The challenge of dehydration prevention

Fewer than 1 in 10 older Australians meet NHMRC recommended total daily fluid intake.12

Care settings present specific challenges when it comes to ensuring hydration. Healthy older adults can normally maintain adequate hydration but factors such as mental or physical illnesses, disabilities and the reliance on others can increase their risk for dehydration.13 While not necessarily age-related, they still need to be addressed in order to prevent dehydration reoccurring.

Low-intake dehydration is common, particularly in older adults.10 Simple interventions that may help achieve adequate fluid intake include:14,15

  • Offering residents/patients preferred types of drinks
  • Increased availability of drinks
  • Increased prompting to drink
  • Encouraging small, frequent feedings and between mealtime drinks
  • Improving social and physical environments during mealtimes
  • Using modified cups and eating aids to help maintain independence
  • Offering toileting at regular intervals (to reduce incontinence fears).

Make rehydration simple with Hydralyte®

Choosing the appropriate oral rehydration solution (ORS) is an important first step in managing mild to moderate dehydration16 — Hydralyte, formulated to meet World Health Organization (WHO) ORS recommendations — has the correct balance of fluid, glucose and electrolytes to allow rapid rehydration while helping restore electrolyte balance.16,17

Hydralyte® – Australia’s number 1 ORS rehydration formula18 – provides effective rehydration in a range of formats and flavours:

  • Rehydrates faster than water alone
  • Have the correct balance of sodium and glucose in-line with World Health Organization ORS recommendations
  • Are hypotonic — allowing effective rehydration while minimising potential side effects such as a feeling of fullness/bloating
  • Have a lower sodium content — formulated specifically for the diets of developed countries
  • Are suitable for all ages.

Available in ready to use solutions, convenient self-dissolving tablets, powders, comforting warm rehydrating drinks and cooling electrolyte ice block formulations.

For further information, contact Care Pharmaceuticals: FREECALL Australia 1800 788 870 or visit

Hydralyte® is a registered trademark of Care Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. ©Copyright 2023 Care Pharmaceuticals. All rights reserved.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use.


1. Taylor K, Jones EB. Adult Dehydration. 2022 Oct 3. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.
2. Lacey J, et al. Ann Med. 2019;51(3-4):232-51.
3. Thomas M. Nursing Times. 2020;116(8):45-8.
4. Schlanger LE, et al. Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2010;17(4):308-19.
5. Schols JM, et al. J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(2):150-7.
6. NHMRC. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, New Zealand Ministry of Health. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2006. Version 1.2 updated September 2017.
7. El-Sharkawy AM, et al. Clin Nutr. 2014;33(1):6-13.
8. NHLBI. Good hydration linked to healthy aging. 2 January 2023. (accessed August 2023).
9. Sfera A, et al. Front Mol Biosci. 2016;3:18.
10. El-Sharkawy AM, et al. Age Ageing. 2015;44(6):943-7.
11. Masot O, et al. Nutrients. 2020 Nov 4;12(11):3383.
12. Sui Z, et al. Nutrients. 2016;8(11):678. 13. Reber E, et al. J Clin Med. 2019;8(11):1923.
14. Kayser-Jones J, et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1999;47(10):1187-94 [ABSTRACT].
15. Bruno C, et al. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 18;13(10):3640.
16. World Health Organization (WHO). Oral rehydration salts. Production of the new ORS. 2006. Available at: (accessed August 2023).
17. TGA Public summary. Hydralyte Orange Flavoured Electrolyte Powder ARTG ID 122627. Available at: (accessed August 2023).
^ IQVIA Pharmacy Scan MAT July 2023.