"This is a year-round problem but becomes much more of a threat in the summer," said Dr. Larry Wright with the Schmieding Center.
As seniors age, drinking water when they get thirsty just isn't enough to stay healthy.
"By age 70 thirst is unreliable to tell us how much to drink," Dr. Wright said. "By the time a 70-year-old man gets thirsty he is already dehydrated."
Everyone should drink a quart-and-half to two quarts of liquids a day. Water and juice are fine, but alcohol and drinks with caffeine actually help dehydrate people. For seniors, whose sense of thirst is unreliable, making drinking liquids part of a routine ensures they won't become ill.
If people are outside during warm weather, they should be drinking even more.
"For every hour and-a-half of outdoor activity when the temp is 80 degrees or higher, the person should drink another additional quart of acceptable liquids," Dr. Wright said.
If a person starts feeling sluggish mentally or physically, or starts getting dizzy, they could be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke and should see a doctor right away.
"It can deteriorate and they may not get that other chance," Dr. Wright said. "It's one of those things that is easier to prevent than treat."
For more information on the Schmieding Center, go to: TheSchmiedingCenter