The human body is composed of 50 to 65 percent water, so it is very important to make sure that you are taking in enough water on a daily basis. We at Carefect Home care Services understand that it can often be a challenge to make sure that seniors drink enough water, but by following these tips the job will be easier. Many people are not aware of the fact that seniors are more prone to dehydration than other people which can cause some serious health concerns. As we age, the water content in our body decreases which makes hydration more important than ever when it comes to remaining healthy. Seniors who do not drink enough water are prone to being hospitalized more and face a higher risk of mortality while hospitalized. Seniors can ensure that they are getting enough water in a variety of ways.
The easiest way to ensure that a senior drinks enough water is by making sure that water is always available to them. If they are on the go, make sure that they have plenty of water bottles or a reusable water bottle or beverage container that they can take with them. If water is always available even when other drinks are not, that will automatically make it their drink of choice, which is a good thing. If your loved one is spending the entire day at home, you can try keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge and filling it up each day with the amount of water that they should drink during the day. There are plenty of pitchers available that have measurements on the pitcher, so you can be sure that you are measuring out the right amount.
Many sources recommend 6-8 cups of water a day, but other sources say that women should drink 9 cups of water and men should drink 13 cups of water a day. For most people, 6-8 cups of water a day is usually enough, but it is important to keep in mind that there are factors that can cause the body to need more water in a day. If your loved one likes to exercise, you should try to make sure that they get an extra 1-2 cups of water a day. If they exercise for long periods of time or sweat a lot while exercising, it is best to increase that amount to an additional 2-3 cups. Seniors who live in hot or humid environments should also be sure to drink additional water because the body often loses more water in hot climates. Family caregivers should make sure that their loved ones are drinking more water on hot days, especially if they spend a lot of time outside. If your loved one gets sick while you are caring for them and experiences fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, you should make sure that they are drinking enough fluids to replace what they are losing from being sick. The risk of dehydration is increased when people are sick and experience any of those symptoms because their body is losing more water than it normally would.
Aside from drinking water, there are other ways to increase your daily fluid intake. Adding water rich foods to a senior’s diet is a good way to increase their water intake without requiring them to have to drink large amounts of water. Fruits such as watermelon, tomatoes, peaches, papaya, pineapple, strawberries and oranges contain high amounts of water. Vegetables like iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, squash and bell peppers are also very water dense. Fruits and vegetables are not only water dense, but also very healthy for seniors because of their low calorie content which makes them easy to digest. Water can also be found in other liquids, but it is important to avoid highly caffeinated beverages because caffeine can be a diuretic which will cause the body to lose water and calcium.
If you are worried that your loved one is not getting enough water on a daily basis, be sure to look for signs of dehydration. Signs of dehydration include yellow urine, upset stomach, headache, muscle cramps, joint pain, lethargy, constipation, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. If your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure that they get more water immediately, but do not give them so much at once that they get sick. More severe symptoms of dehydration include muscle spasms, difficulty breathing, painful urination, shriveling skin, confusion and lethargy, and abdominal pain. If your loved one experiences these symptoms they will need emergency care immediately because intravenous fluids will be required to rehydrate them. Severe symptoms like theses usually occur when the body loses 10% or more of its water content, so by following the tips above you can avoid this. Remember to keep in mind that dehydration can lead to serious health concerns and help keep your loved one hydrated.