Maintaining sufficient hydration is one of the most important ways that seniors can take care of their health. The human body is made up of anywhere from 45-75% water, and this vital liquid is needed for almost every function or process in which people engage. Because of this, dehydration, or not consuming enough liquid for your body to function, is a major concern with potentially serious consequences.
Seniors are at an increased risk of dehydration due to factors including generally lower body percentages of water, struggles with memory, limited mobility, decreases in kidney function, lessened signal for thirst, medications which affect hydration, and increased risk of illness and other health conditions.
Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of dehydration:
- Little to no urination
- Dark yellow urine
- Cracked lips
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
The best way to deal with dehydration is through prevention. To ensure that you or your loved one is getting enough water, there are a number of tips and tricks you can try.
- Talk with your doctor about how much water you should be drinking based on your medical history and medications.
- Use a clear water bottle with time markers going down it to help you remember to drink consistently throughout the day.
- Set alarms to remind you to drink some water.
- Make drinking liquids more fun. Add fruit, use a fun glass or bottle, try flavor enhancers, make popsicles, and drink other liquids like tea, coffee, or smoothies.
- Eat your liquids. Fruits, vegetables, and other foods like broth all help with hydration too.
- Pair drinking water with another habit or add it to your routine. An example is every time you get up to use the restroom drink a glass of water.
- Some senior living communities have hydration programs to support residents in consuming enough water.
- If drinking water is a major struggle, there are some alternatives made specifically for seniors like hydration drops and Jelly Drops which can increase water intake.
Though drinking water may seem simple, dehydration is a serious matter which can quickly turn into an emergency situation. With a little thought and awareness when it comes to water consumption, complications can easily be avoided.
CJ & Associates Care Consulting is your partner when it comes to the health of your elderly loved ones. Contact us today for more information.