The Quiet Senior Health Risk: Dehydration
You have finally hit the summer months and now the heat is on! How do you keep seniors you love hydrated and safe from the dangers of dehydration? It is not always an easy task, but we have some tips for you!
Many times after being outside in the sun, you come inside and cannot wait to drink a cold glass of water. However, as you age, your sense of thirst tends to fade. By the time your aging loved one senses the need to drink something, they are probably already in the early stage of dehydration. How do you keep aging adults healthy and hydrated?
5 Tips to Keep Hydrated in the Summer
Keep a Water Bottle with You at all Times-- Oftentimes you are gardening or taking a much needed stroll outside and forget your water. You think not a big deal, but as the temperature rises and you continue on with your daily activity, it could cause a problem. When you are out and about, keep a water bottle with you. You can even get a nice pretty or sporty one at a reasonable price, which sometimes entices you to not forget it. Having water around helps keep you hydrated at all times.
Eat Foods Loaded with Water-- One way to keep yourself hydrated is to load up on fresh fruit and vegetables loaded with water. For example, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers and zucchini all have high water content. Not only are you eating healthy, but you are also helping keep your body functioning properly with adequate liquid.
Drink Water with Meals and Medication--You have heard the advice to drink a glass of water before a meal to encourage a more healthier and portion-controlled diet. However, that glass of water can help you stay hydrated too. It is a win to get a nice glass of water or two before and during your meal. Also, when you have to take medication, drink a full glass of water to help keep you full, content, and hydrated.
Check Your Urine-- Many times one of the biggest signs of dehydration is dark urine. Many caregivers and medical professionals advise trying to drink enough water in the morning so that your urine is almost clear by lunch time. That can be a lofty goal, but it does encourage drinking water and staying hydrated.
Talk to Your Doctor--One of the overlooked options is frequently talking to your doctor. If you are on any medications or diuretics that can cause dehydration, you should make sure you are getting the proper daily allotment of water. Your doctor can advise what is the amount needed to keep your body healthy and functioning properly.
Dangers of Dehydration
Above we discussed how to stay hydrated to be healthy and well. However, you also need to consider the health risks of dehydration. Water is necessary for about every body function from lubricating the joints to regulating body temperature to helping pump your blood throughout your body. What can happen if you are dehydrated? Those bodily functions suffer and infection or other health issues can arise. Aging adults with Alzheimers or dementia tend to have a heightening in confusion and awareness when they suffer from dehydration. Also with dehydration comes dizziness and fatigue which could promote falling and that brings in even more risks and health concerns.
The bottomline is to stay hydrated and drink water often to keep yourself hydrated and healthy. There are other alternatives to drink to stay hydrated, but water is the best solution. However, mix it up and have several different beverages to keep up your liquid intake. Looking for help with caring for your aging loved one or parent? Contact us today at Continuing Healthcare Solutions to let us help guide you to age with grace and integrity.