How and Why to Get Seniors to Drink More Water
With dehydration being a common cause of hospitalization in people over 65, it is important to keep a close eye on the seniors close to us and make sure they are getting their proper fluid intake each day. As we age, our bodies tend to hold less and less water, which means that seniors typically become dehydrated much quicker.
Not drinking enough water can cause major health problems like kidney stones, blood clot complications, passing out, rapid but weak pulse and lowered blood pressure. If the person is on medication, being properly hydrated is also essential for the medication to work properly.
Some mild signs and symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, thirst, dry skin, headaches and decreased urination. More severe signs and symptoms include lack of sweating, muscle cramps, low blood pressure and confusion.
Although dehydration can become a serious issue, it is also easily avoidable! Below are some tips on how to encourage seniors to drink more water.
Make Water Easily Accessible
Doing something as simple as making water easier to reach could encourage seniors to drink a lot more of it. Putting a lightweight pitcher and a cup or a filled water bottle next to where they frequently sit could motivate them to stay hydrated.
Make Their Favorite Smoothie
There are many different creative fluid sources that can be served to seniors if they are resistant toward drinking plain liquids. Making a smoothie instead of handing them a cup of water can be more enticing due to the different flavor or texture. Other drinks and foods with high water content can also increase hydration.
Encourage Continual Small Quantities
Since seniors may typically have a muted perception of thirst, feeling thirsty may be one of the first signs of dehydration. It’s important to encourage seniors to continually drink small qualities of water with meals and each time their medication is taken, even if they say they are not thirsty.
Add Some Flavor
Flavoring water with fresh fruit such as lemon, berries or cucumber is a great way to pique the drinker’s interest and prevent them from getting bored of plain water. When adding flavor, it is important to consider if the drinks need to be tailored to the specific senior – no sugary drinks to diabetics, no high sodium to those with high blood pressure etc. When experimenting with different flavors, it could also be beneficial to experiment with different temperature beverages as well.
Leave Notes or Reminders
Leaving notes around the house or utilizing an automatic water alarm can help seniors remember to drink more water, especially if they are a dementia patient. Having each visitor remind the senior about drinking a glass of water could also effectively tackle potential dehydration issues.
Especially with the summer just beginning, it’s important that everyone, not only seniors, stays hydrated and healthy! Water is the main source of life in our bodies, so a big part of checking up on our loved ones is making sure they are well-hydrated.
Want to learn more about setting your loved ones up with at home water delivery? Get more information today!