Dehydration is described as a loss of fluids and electrolytes, and it can have serious repercussions for older adults, including death in extreme circumstances. You may have offered a drink to an older loved one only to have them say that they aren’t thirsty at the moment. Unfortunately, this response is frequently caused by a waning feeling of thirst as part of the aging process, which increases the danger of dehydration. Here are some useful strategies to help prevent dehydration in your family members.
Here are some common symptoms of dehydration to look out for in older adults:
- Dark-colored urine
- Increased heart rate
- Sunken eyes
Many of these symptoms exacerbate additional dangers that older adults face, such as an increased chance of falling, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and renal impairment, all of which can lead to hospitalization. Nonetheless, ensuring that your loved one receives adequate fluids may be a creative problem for caretakers.
Schedule for Hydration
A hydration schedule for persons with dementia or other cognitive impairment may be beneficial. This may also help carers stay on schedule, as loved ones may not remember when or if they last drank anything. Another technique to urge older individuals to drink is to have a water bottle nearby.
Keep Water Within Reach
Make sure your loved one has access to water at all times. Have a drink ready at their bedside every morning. You may need to plan ahead of time to accommodate any mobility issues they may have, such as utilizing a bottle or cup that is simple to pick up or bringing your loved one water on a regular basis.
Consider offering a straw for sipping water, and make sure the water temperature is adjusted to your loved one’s liking. Keep topping up the water throughout the day and remember to send water with your loved one if they go outside during the day. For a taste boost, try infusing water with pieces of cucumber, orange, or lemon.
Soup is a wonderful source of water and nutrients; however, the salt content should be carefully monitored. Many vegetable soups, as well as chicken broth, are wonderful choices. Consider cold soups like gazpacho, cucumber, or pea soup throughout the summer.
Feed Them Juicy Vegetable and Fruits
If your loved one refuses to drink, consider serving a tiny dish of melon balls instead. Unsweetened applesauce, kiwi fruits, citrus fruits, grapes, cantaloupe, and watermelon have high water content. Tomatoes, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers are examples of water-rich vegetables.
Stock Up on Sports Drinks
Sports drinks like Gatorade can help older individuals rehydrate, especially if the weather is hot or they’ve been exceptionally active outside. Consider storing one or two bottles in the fridge to use when needed.
Country Club At Woodland Hills provides personalized care through our senior living programs. Contact us or schedule a tour with us today to learn more.