Senior Living Health Tips: Staying Hydrated
It’s been a long, hot summer! Between the hot weather outside and the dry air-conditioned indoors, it’s easy to get dehydrated this time of year, especially for seniors.
Staying well hydrated has benefits for everyone. Good hydration curbs the tendency to overeat, aids digestion, and helps improve skin and muscle tone. But for seniors, staying well hydrated can be a challenge. The sensation of thirst isn’t as strong as people age and older bodies are naturally less fluid. Plus, some medications commonly taken by seniors (especially blood pressure medications) can cause dehydration.
That’s why it is so important to make it as easy as possible for your senior loved one to stay well hydrated, and watch for the signs of dehydration during the summer.
Signs of Dehydration in Seniors
Dehydration is more than getting a little thirsty – for seniors it’s a real health risk. The early signs of dehydration are minor, but should be taken seriously. If your senior loved one is complaining of headaches, a dry mouth, or muscle cramps, pay close attention. These are usually the first signs, which can be followed by more serious symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, and loss of balance.
Fortunately, staying well hydrated is easy and tasty! Here are some tips for helping you and the senior in your life stay hydrated during the hot summer months:
- Remind your loved one to drink a full glass of water when taking medication.
- Keep a bottle or glass of water near you at all times as a reminder to drink more.
- Drop slices of cucumber, lemon, orange, or other fruit in a pitcher of water and keep it in the fridge. Drink it plain for a healthy snack, and add a touch of honey or agave nectar for sweetness.
- Avoid over-consuming caffeinated or sugary beverages. While there’s no need to give up your morning coffee, caffeine does act as a diuretic. If you’re drinking coffee, tea, or soda, make sure to drink plenty of water along with it.
- Enjoy foods with high water content, such as melons, cucumbers, and summer soups.
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