Did you know…nearly 50% of all seniors are chronically under-hydrated, based on a recent study conducted at UCLA? Not only that, but older adults over age 65 account for the highest group of hospital admissions because of dehydration.
Dehydration can rapidly sneak up on older adults, who usually have a decreased sensation of thirst, who can experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or who mistakenly believe that drinking less will lessen incontinence issues.
Dehydration in seniors is exceedingly harmful, raising the risk for health issues such as:
- Kidney stones and/or failure
- Blood clots
- Hypovolemic shock
- And numerous others
Dehydration can be detected according to the subsequent symptoms:
- Reduced amount/darker-colored urine
- Dry mouth
- Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or lethargy
- Muscle cramps
- Confusion and disorientation, such as difficulty with walking
- Low blood pressure levels and weakened, faster pulse and breathing
- Stomach bloating
- Sunken, dry eyes
- Skin that is wrinkled without any elasticity
- Worsened muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions
While we often pay more attention to hydration when the temperature is high, it is crucial for seniors to drink sufficient fluids throughout the year. An effective formula to find out just how much, on average, a senior ought to drink every single day is to divide the older adult’s body weight by 3, and have him or her consume that many ounces of water. To illustrate, if a senior weighs 120 pounds, he or she would require no less than 40 ounces of water every day.
Try these tips to further avoid dehydration to seniors in your family:
- Plain water is the best, but take into account other types of fluids, including soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. That said, eliminate sugary and caffeinated beverages.
- Place bottled water or a small pitcher of ice water and a cup close to the senior to encourage him or her to sip on it throughout the day.
- Test assorted temperatures. In some cases a warmed cup of water is more soothing than an icy one. You can even try heating up juice and other beverages to determine if they’re more appealing, or offer popsicles.
The experienced elder care team at Stay Home Care is adept in creative ways to help seniors stay hydrated, and in monitoring fluid intake to ensure enough fluids are consumed every day. Contact us at 615-964-7726 to find out how we can help enhance the health of senior loved ones with care at home in Nashville, TN or any of the surrounding communities.