Hydration is important year-round but can be especially hard to keep up with in the Summer heat. Unfortunately, many seniors struggle to drink enough water daily. While it’s never good to be dehydrated, in the Summer, it can be especially dangerous. This article will look at the dangers of dehydration, and how you can help encourage your elderly loved one to drink more water.
Dehydration Risks in the Elderly
As you age, your body’s capacity for water retention decreases. Additionally, your body’s receptors that indicate your needs can dull. This combination leads to many elderly individuals not realizing they need water. Certain medications, as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes and dementia, can affect these receptors, too. Mobility issues with age can also contribute to dehydration, as it becomes harder to get water for themselves.
Health Risks from Lack of Hydration
Dehydration can lead to dizziness, muscle weakness, confusion, cramps, bladder problems, and constipation. Furthermore, chronic dehydration can also cause more serious health issues. Urinary and kidney issues, low blood volume complications, and even seizures can develop from a lack of water.
Tips for Healthy Hydration in the Summer
Simply put, the best way to prevent dehydration is to drink water. It is important to drink a few glasses of water with each meal. It is also important to drink water before, during, and after exercising.
Taking Pills with Water
If your loved one has to swallow pills, they are likely drinking liquid along with it. Instruct them to drink a full glass of water with their pills, not just a few sips. This can help them take in more water, and can generally help distribute the medicine more efficiently through the body.
If Your Loved One Hates Water
Many people do not like water. It may help to flavor the water, to help encourage drinking. Avoid flavorings and additives. Instead, add natural and healthy ingredients to their water. Common ingredients include lemon, cucumber, lime, mint, rosemary, or berries. Consider switching these add-ins on occasion to keep them interested.
Water-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Consider more water-rich vegetables and fruits for your loved one’s meals and snacks. Melons, berries, celery, romaine, peppers, cucumbers, oranges, and spinach all contain a lot of water. For these vegetables, consider serving them raw. Overall, serving them raw is the best option for helping with hydration.
Soups and Smoothies Help with Hydration
Serving soup is a great way to add extra water to your loved one’s diet, but the summertime may be too hot for that. Consider making your loved one a healthy, refreshing smoothie with water, fruit, and even some vegetables.
Shade Is Your Friend
When going outside with your loved one, sit them in the shade, and give them a sun hat. You sweat more in the sun, leading to more dehydration. Staying cool in the Summer is also important to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has been providing excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help the elderly and disabled live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us by clicking here, or call (718)-979-6900.