PLYMOUTH — Staying hydrated is important for maintaining health and keeping critical bodily functions working properly. This can be a challenge for some seniors because of changes that happen with age. Seniors may have a diminished ability to sense thirst, notice changes in body temperature and may be taking medications that have a dehydrating effect.
Being dehydrated can cause confusion, headaches, elevated heart rate, muscle weakness and fatigue. Because the effects of dehydration are so great, seniors need to be especially vigilant about getting enough water through the day. Seniors that think they may be dehydrated should discuss their symptoms with their doctor before making any changes to their fluid intake.
Older adults looking for ways to stay hydrated through the day should try these six tips to get started:
- Talk to a doctor – not only can a healthcare professional provide a recommendation about how much water someone needs, they can also provide guidance and tips on managing water intake.
- Create a schedule – it can be difficult to drink a lot of water in one sitting. However, creating a schedule that accounts for daily activity, physician-recommended intake levels and the preferences of the senior can help keep hydration on track.
- Eat water rich foods – Eating cucumbers, watermelon, apples and other water-rich produce can help seniors get more fluids at meal times. Broth is also a good option.
- Make water more interesting – For those that don’t enjoy drinking water, adding small amounts of juice or flavoring to water can make it less boring. Popsicles are also a great option, especially on warm days.
- Reduce water loss – excessive sweating can contribute to dehydration – keeping inside temperatures at a reasonable level, and being mindful of fluid loss during outside activities, can help seniors stay hydrated.
- Don’t wait for thirst – often, by the time seniors feel thirsty, they may already be dehydrated.
Comfort Keepers Can Help
Comfort Keepers can provide support for seniors that are concerned about the issue of hydration. Caregivers can provide transportation to healthcare appointments, assist with meal preparation and planning, and provide support for physician-prescribed hydration regimens. To learn more about in-home care services, call 603-536-6060 or visit www.comfortkeepers.com/plymouthnh.