How to Get Senior Loved Ones to Drink More Water
Drinking water is one of the keys to good health. It is especially important to the senior population. However, caregivers can have a hard time encouraging elderly loved ones to stay hydrated. Use the following guide to learn why hydration is extra essential to your older family members.
A Quick Guide to Hydration For Seniors
Why Do Seniors Need More Water?
The body’s capacity for water retention reduces with age, making it easy for seniors to become dehydrated, especially in extreme temperatures. Sense of thirst also decreases, and certain medications can present hydration challenges. Corticosteroids, laxatives, diuretics, antihistamines, and antipsychotics also increase urine output, leading to fluid and electrolyte losses.
Certain health conditions can also affect hydration levels, including seniors with urinary incontinence, and dementia and Alzheimer’s patients who may forget to drink water. Diabetes causes dehydration due to high blood glucose levels. Excessive sugar in the blood stresses the kidneys, causing glucose elimination through urine instead of the filtering organs.
How Can Caregivers Get Seniors to Increase Their Water Consumption?
Symptoms of dehydration can include headaches, confusion, muscle cramps, dry mouth, sleepiness, weak pulse, cold hands and feet, rapid breathing, and dizziness. Discuss the best methods for encouraging water consumption in your older family members with their caregivers. This may require you to keep lightweight, reusable water bottles in easily accessible areas. Determine what beverage temperature your elderly family members prefer to help them feel more comfortable increasing their water intake.
Provide other water sources, such as tea, fruit juice, and water-heavy fruits and vegetables. Cucumbers, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapefruit are among the most hydrating food options. Low-sodium broths and soups also increase water consumption. Popsicles made with water and fruit juice offer another enjoyable way to help seniors drink more.
Ask the caregiver to check your loved one’s urine regularly. It should be light in color. Amber or otherwise dark coloring indicates possible dehydration.
The caregivers at Home Helpers of Hoover have provided families throughout the metro Birmingham, AL, area with senior care services since 2012. Their compassionate team offers in-home memory, respite, and Alzheimer’s care services, and they go above and beyond to keep their clients and their families happy and healthy. Call (205) 978-3809 to schedule a free consultation, or learn more about senior care services online.