Warm weather means lots of outdoor fun. Walks in the park are a nice way to get seniors active, but warm weather also increases the chances of dehydration. Seniors need to pay special attention to their hydration because aging decreases the body's ability to retain water. Below are essential hydration tips for senior caregivers.
An aging body goes through many physiological changes. Body water content is one of those changes. A strapping, young adult has between 60 and 70 percent body water content, while the elderly have 50 to 60 percent and sometimes less body water content. Aging kidneys play a big role in this loss of water. As our kidneys age, they lose the ability to make highly concentrated urine. A good portion of water is lost in diluted urine. Another reason the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration is medications, such as diuretics and laxatives. Here are some tips to keep dehydration at bay.
- Keep your senior hydrated with frequent water breaks. Six to eight glasses of water a day is a good goal. Drink a glass first thing in the morning, and violà, there's only five to seven glasses left!
- Offer them a delicious, and sugar-free, flavored water to add a little pizzazz. Some diluted juice tastes good ,too.
- Who doesn't love a piece of ice-cold watermelon? Eating melons is a good way to add a little extra hydration when it's hot out.
- If at all possible, avoid extreme heat. Excess sweating uses up a lot of water.
- This last tip might not go over well with coffee enthusiasts, but here it is. Drink fewer caffeinated drinks. That means less coffee. Caffeine is a diuretic, and diuretics increase the amount of water lost.
- Keep track.
Knowing how much they are drinking will be a huge comfort to you as a caregiver. There are several ways to keep track of your senior's hydration. If you have a smart phone, you can download an app that will keep count and give reminders. For those that prefer a written record, post a chart on the refrigerator. Every time they drink a glass simply mark it off on the chart.
Dehydration is no joke. Seniors can get dehydrated easily, so take the time to prepare. By putting a few flavored waters and cut up melons in the refrigerator, you can help your senior stay healthy and hydrated.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!