Now that it’s summer and the heat is rising, we’ve been thinking about an important topic – keeping seniors hydrated! Dehydration among seniors is a serious health problem that is often overlooked until it becomes a medical emergency.
Dehydration in the elderly can lead to:
- Urinary tract infections
- Frequent falling
- Worsening of other medical conditions, such as kidney or heart disease
- Changes in metabolism
Family caregivers and professional caregivers need to be observant and creative with ways to keep those they are caring for hydrated. This can be especially tricky because as we age our bodies lose water content and we feel a diminished sense of thirst. Polypharmacy (taking many prescriptions) can affect hydration. Often times seniors have difficulty moving and purposely do not drink very much to avoid having to get up often to use the bathroom.
- Poor skin elasticity
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Increase in pulse
- Weight loss
- Increased respiration
- Dry skin and lips
Tips and Tricks to help Seniors Stay Hydrated
As caregivers, we need to be aware of the signs of dehydration in seniors so we can help them stay hydrated. Here are some tips to promote water intake:
- Have a glass or bottle of water nearby at all times, day and night.
- Drink one full glass of water with each meal and snack, or when taking medications.
- Add sliced fruit to water to enhance taste and add a refreshing element.
- Eat hydrating foods such as: melons, blueberries, pineapple, pears, grapefruit, cucumber, celery, lettuce, and tomatoes.
- Set alarm reminders throughout the day.
- Keep low-sugar electrolyte drinks available.
- Each time you take a drink, swallow eight mouthfuls of fluid.
- Keep popsicles in the freezer. Also a great way to cool down and stay hydrated!
Call us today at 801-607-2300 for more information or to learn more about Aspen Senior Day Center.
Visit our sister company, Aspen Senior Care – In-home caregivers you can trust!