Dehydration can be a serious health issue for older adults. Avoiding dehydration is always preferable to seeking medical intervention for hydration issues, so these tips are a good starting point. Gamifying hydration, like with smartphone apps, might be a way to encourage your elderly family member to get a little more water in each day.
Know the Symptoms of Dehydration
Dehydration basically means that your senior is not getting the water that her body needs in order to keep functioning properly. It can be easy to become dehydrated, especially if your elderly family member is active outdoors and isn’t drinking enough water at the same time. When your elderly family member becomes dehydrated, she might become tired, dizzy, or even confused.
Look for Potential Causes
There are so many different potential causes for dehydration. The obvious ones include not drinking enough water and being out in the heat for too long. But your senior could become dehydrated because of medications that she takes or because of health issues. Blood pressure medications, including diuretics, and others can cause dehydration for instance, and if your senior isn’t drinking water on top of that, she can become dehydrated quickly.
Supplement Water Intake with Hydrating Foods
It can be difficult to help your senior to drink enough water each day, especially if she genuinely doesn’t enjoy drinking water. Eating hydrating foods, especially ones that your senior enjoys, can be very helpful. Fruits and vegetables are a great option, but watch sugar intake with those. Soups and herbal tea are other ideas.
Pay More Attention When the Weather Is Warmer
When the weather is warmer, your senior is at an accelerated risk of getting dehydrated. If she’s outside and it’s hot, make sure she has plenty of water and encourage her to sip often. She should also try to spend time in the shade, if possible, so that she doesn’t overheat. Inside, make sure that the temperature is comfortable. Keeping a bottle of water at the ready is a good idea, too.
If you can’t be there with your senior, you may be even more worried about helping her to avoid dehydration. Hiring a caregiver is a solid answer because they can spend time with your senior and help her with a variety of issues while also monitoring water intake. This can go a long way toward helping your elderly family member to stay hydrated.