Nov 9, 2016 by Matt Clinnard
Hydration is important for everyone, especially for seniors. In home elder care providers in Tyler, TX, could make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water every day and stays healthy. Total body water decreases with age, therefore an adult over 60 years old has less water to lose before becoming dehydrated.
There are many signs of dehydration - dry mouth or throat, headache, irritability, lightheadedness/dizziness, boredom or disinterest, decreased or dark-colored urine, decreased tears, dry nose, dry skin and cramping.
Dehydration is especially common for a number of reasons. Seniors are often on several medications at any given time. Some of these may be diuretic, while others may cause patients to sweat more. A person's sense of thirst becomes less acute as they age. Seniors lose kidney function and are less able to conserve fluid. Vomiting or diarrhea can quickly cause elderly dehydration.
In home elder care providers could encourage your loved one to drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day. Five 8-ounce glasses of water per day is a good bench for seniors. Studies have shown that older adults who drink 5 glasses of water experience lower rates of fatal coronary heart disease.
In home elder care providers don’t recommend drinking coffee, alcohol and high-protein drinks because they have a diuretic effect. Caregivers could encourage your parent to drink water, milk or juice with every meal, and keep their favorite beverages nearby.
It’s important to prevent dehydration because it’s a common cause of hospitalization in people over 65 and can even cause death. It can also cause other major health problems like kidney stones, blood clot complications, passing out, rapid but weak pulse, and lowered blood pressure. Being properly hydrated is also very important for certain medications to work. Dehydration has been associated with many senior health issues, including elderly confusion, impaired cognition, falling and constipation.
If your loved one doesn’t like drinking fluids in home elder care providers could serve them more foods with high water content to increase their hydration. Caregivers recommend including fruits and vegetables in every meal, because they naturally provide water to the body.
Your senior may prefer hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. You can experiment to find out which type they like better. Try things like warming up juices, making decaf iced coffee with cream, or adding soda water to make drinks bubbly. Try infusing water with fruit, herbs or cucumber to make it taste better. Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great treat, and a good way to keep your loved one hydrated. Caregivers could make a fluids schedule to encourage your loved one to drink fluids at specific points throughout the day.
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