We have heard time and time again how important it is for us to stay hydrated. From our parents when we were young to our doctors as we get older, water consumption is reiterated as one of the most important things you can do for your body every day. Many of our vital life processes rely on keeping a certain level of hydration and dipping too far below that level can lead to drastic consequences.
Freedom Home Care understands that hydration is certainly very important in the elderly. Improper hydration can lead to blood pressure issues as well as kidney and urinary tract infections, both of which are common in elderly individuals. Older adults are also more susceptible to heat exhaustion, especially if they are dehydrated.
So why are we more at risk for dehydration-related problems when we are older? A lot of it has to with our mental state. A lot of older individuals are unaware that they are not drinking enough water. The water content of senior citizens’ bodies decrease, along with that our brain’s instructions to drink more water when needed. Our kidneys also do not work as efficiently as they did in our prime adult years, so the much-needed water is not retained as easily. Also, we tend to need more medications for various ailments as we age and some of those medications can cause dehydration more easily. Many seniors become less mobile, which makes it harder to get access to water readily and some even have difficulty swallowing as they age.
The importance of keeping hydrated is clear, but it sometimes can be difficult making sure an elderly friend or relative drinks enough liquids. We have some tips to try to make the idea of keeping hydrated more appealing and easier for everyone.
If you are a care-taker, be sure to offer fluids often throughout the day. Set an alarm if necessary. If an elderly individual needs medication, be sure to encourage them to drink the entirety of an 8 oz. glass of water each time. Keep water and possibly a cooler within reach of the individual if they are not very mobile on their own. Also, make the beverages more appealing than just plain water every time. Mix fresh fruit or juice with a small amount of sugar or honey in order to get them to drink a delicious and nourishing liquid.
The temperature is rising and Freedom Home Care encourages you to find ways to keep your elderly friends and relatives hydrated and healthy. Contact us for more information on dehydration and senior care.