We bear witness to a complicated series of physical and mental changes as we move toward an advanced age. One critical aspect of maintaining a body in optimal health is proper hydration. Staying hydrated is necessary for anyone, regardless of their age, but it is absolutely crucial for older people.
This guide takes a look at how hydration is essential for seniors, as well as offers several beneficial practices to help ensure you are providing your body with sufficient fluid intake to support a healthy lifestyle throughout your golden years.
Why are seniors at higher risk of getting dehydrated?
As we age, physiological changes can negatively impact our body’s capacity to conserve water, rendering our sense of thirst to become less dependable. Mobility considerations can also make it challenging to access water regularly throughout the day.
On top of that, some older people are currently taking some form of blood pressure or diabetes medication, many of which can cause or increase the risk of dehydration. This elevated risk of dehydration can result in a myriad of potential health conditions when taken without drinking adequate amounts of water.
How much water do seniors need every day?
Being in tune with your hydration requirements is paramount to living a healthy lifestyle as an older adult. Your daily recommendations for fluid intake can vary on factors such as current health conditions, your age, sex, and activity or fitness levels.
One suggestion is to take one-third of your body weight and consume that number of ounces of water or hydrating fluids every day. This method would see a 175-pound senior drinking about 58 ounces of water daily (approximately 7.28 cups) to remain healthy and hydrated.
Practical tips to help seniors remain hydrated
Set a schedule
The diminished urge to drink makes establishing a consistent drinking schedule a necessity for seniors. Encouraging older people to drink a glass of water at a specific time can make for a vital prompt to boost their hydrational levels throughout the day.
Use a water bottle
A reusable water bottle makes for a handy way for seniors to stay on track with their daily intake and can make hydration instantly accessible wherever the day may take them.
Choose hydrating foods
Watermelon, celery, and cucumber are all refreshing foods with a high water content. Incorporating these water-rich and nutritious foods into your menu is a smart way to contribute to daily fluid intake and remain hydrated.
Get IV hydration therapy at home
Some scenarios can make it challenging for seniors to drink enough water to meet their daily hydration needs. IV therapies are an exceptional way for older adults to replenish their bodies with nourishing fluids and electrolytes designed to revitalize the body while providing nearly instantaneous hydration. IV therapy in Lake Oswego is helping seniors boost their hydration through convenient, in-home wellness treatments.
Recognizing dehydration signals
Properly recognizing the signs of dehydration is critical for seniors as well as their caregivers. Prevalent symptoms can include abnormal heart rate, headaches, exhaustion, dark urine, and lightheadedness. Immediately taking action to rehydrate is vital when any of these warning signs are noted, as dehydration can require medical attention if it becomes severe.
If left untreated, dehydration can result in a variety of health issues, including:
- Cognitive impairment: Dehydration can lead to confusion, difficulty focusing, and memory problems among seniors.
- Increased risk for falls and fractures: Older adults are more inclined to become dizzy or lightheaded when dehydrated, significantly expanding their risk of falls and fractures.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs): An improperly hydrated body can contribute to UTIs, which are not only painful but may also lead to additional complications in seniors.
- Constipation: Digestive problems are a common consequence of dehydration, often leading to uncomfortable bouts of constipation.
- Kidney issues: Impaired functionality of the kidney and kidney stones are possible among chronic cases of dehydration.
Grabbing a glass of water is the easiest way to prevent dehydration. It’s essential for seniors and their caregivers to pay special attention to how much fluids are consumed each day, especially during very hot and very cold weather, when environmental conditions tax the body even further.
Maintaining a well-hydrated body seems simple, but it is an often overlooked aspect of a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Dehydration can quickly develop into a vast array of medical issues, from increasing the risk for falls and fractures to kidney stones to cognitive
By establishing a basic understanding of the unique hydration requirements of older people and by successfully implementing these practical strategies for daily fluid intake, we can help seniors cultivate their health and wellness from the inside out.
Incorporating these simple daily prompts can work wonders for increasing awareness about the crucial signs of dehydration, and following these essential practices can help ensure the health, safety, and quality of life for seniors during their golden years.