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Keeping Seniors Hydrated

Hydration Fact: Water is a necessity of life. It flows to keep us going internally and it is seen doing the same to keep plants and wildlife going since the dawn of time… We’ve witnessed water and hydration as early as mankind could remember. It’s innate in us. Causes of dehydration may include not having enough water often enough, or eating too many unhealthy meals loaded with sugars, corn syrups, salt/sodium that’s keeping your gut bacteria in confusion searching for more of that bad stuff.

Some seniors have found a way to control the amount of water intake based on their doctor recommendations and medications they are taking, to balance the use of the drugs or pharmaceuticals with hydration. As a preventative way to combat the causes of dehydration, some elderly parents have found it helpful to use as a measurable dehydration treatment. These include hydration balls for elderly and hydration jelly drops for seniors.

Hydration Tips For Seniors – How To Keep Seniors Hydrated

The increased heat of the summer requires staying hydrated, especially for the elderly and seniors when they are outdoors. That means being smart when they do go outside, Having plenty of water on-hand, and sun coverings, along with sunscreen is a must! As I am writing to you the temperature outside my office has, for the last several weeks, not gone below 90° and as high as the 100°’s, in that good ‘ole Texas heat. I’m sure you can fry an egg out there on the sidewalk, although that wouldn’t be a recommended experiment. Let’s talk about keeping seniors hydrated.

Hydration for seniors should be a habit but some may need a gentle reminder. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to make mom, dad, auntie, or the grandparents resentful by constantly bugging them to remember their medication or water intake. Adult children must remember to be respectful.

What If Seniors Can’t Drink Enough Water

Although easy to measure, hydration jelly drops for seniors may not always the best thing, …however, there’s nothing like drinking water for keeping seniors hydrated!

Data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality,2 found that “9% of all hospital admissions for adults older than 65 were with dehydration as a secondary diagnosis; of the more than 300,000 admissions for dehydration as a primary diagnosis, 50% occurred in adults older than 65 at a cost of more than $2 billion … Even in healthy community-dwelling older adults, mild dehydration has been found to affect physical performance and cognitive processing.” If nine percent is not a big enough figure to perk your curiosity, then the 2 billion outlay should grab your attention. To me, that’s significant and bears further study. Knowing what signs to look for will help caregivers, adult children of elderly parents, and others take proactive measures to decrease dehydration.

Benefits Of Hydration:

There can be many causes of dehydration in seniors. Dehydration in the elderly may be a fault of not drinking enough fluids or water. It may also be that due to health conditions your doctor may have you on very limited amounts of liquid to prevent troubles in other areas of your body. If however, you have the green light from your doctor to drink as much water as you would like, we recommend between 6-8 glasses when starting on a focused conscious hydration plan for your daily intake.

Do You Need To Drink More Water As You Get Older?

You may also find some of the benefits of hydration is that you feel better, overall, more alert, and aware. Not drowsy or tired… AND, never feeling parched. All because when you have plenty of water, your body is going strong! After all, our bodies are largely made up of water. Why not give it more of what it needs most… MORE WATER equals more hydration. So let’s keep seniors hydrated with these hydration facts:

  1. Your body is made up of mostly water, so giving it more is usually okay.
  2. Be sure to consult your doctors before hyperhydration practices.
  3. Start with a few glasses per day and work you way up to 6-8 daily glasses of water to stay hydrated.
  4. Prevent dehydration by eliminating sodas and sugary drinks from your diet. These drinks often are loaded with sugar and with sodium (salt) that is keeping you thirsty so that you will get trapped into craving and drinking more of them… That’s not good! Sodas and sugary drinks are causes of dehydration
  5. Have a look at our Hydration Fact

Common Causes of Dehydration:

The most common signs and symptoms of dehydration in older adults, says the Mayo Clinic3, include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

According to Dr. Eric Perez, M.D. of the University of Rochester Medical Center4, some of the more common causes for dehydration may include: sweating from hot weather, exercise, sauna use, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Dehydration in seniors may also be caused by some medicines that cause extra urination. The use of diuretics can also be a cause.

Helping The Elderly and Seniors In Drinking Enough Water Each Day

Based on our research, dehydration is brought about by those things causing us to lose more fluids than what is being taken in. Be careful of some missing information that you may hear about… Peter Crosta from Medical News Today5 recommends simple treatments of dehydration include: drinking clear liquids, ideally water, drinking clear broth, eating a popsicle, or “some sports drinks, like Gatorade.”  Many experts who have reviewed the labels on Gatorade and similar sports drinks say that the amounts of sodium in the drinks and the intake of sugar are likely not a wise habit for any human being, especially seniors or the elderly on a restricted diet.

Drinking enough water daily is a prescription for good health, and there are numerous benefits. One Medical6, an online medical service providing members nationwide with access to physicians, lists six benefits everyone, including the elderly, will receive when staying properly hydrated.

  • Better heart health
  • Cools your body
  • Prevents dry mouth
  • Muscles and joints perform better
  • Helps skin stay supple
  • Cleanses your body- inside and out

Good health and independence won’t happen by chance. It’s a series of conscious decisions to make healthy choices. Though I have not gone into great depth today, my goal was to merely make people aware of another way to stay independent. Dehydration, if left untreated can cause life-threatening problems like renal failure. Staying hydrated is just another important way to combat disease. Adult children need to make sure their elderly parents are drinking enough fluids like water. This will only help their elderly parents remain healthy and independent.

In the name of the Time4Seniors community, we welcome and invite you to share below how staying hydrated has helped you or family members enjoy better health.