Dehydration happens when a person fails to take in enough fluid to replace fluids lost during normal bodily processes. Seniors are at a greater risk for dehydration than younger people because of changes the body undergoes with aging. The bodies of older adults are naturally lower in fluids and they may take medications that have dehydration as a side effect.
Because dehydration can be serious for older people, it’s important to take steps to prevent it. Below are some tips to help you keep your aging relative hydrated.
Keep Liquids Available During Activity
When older adults exercise, they sweat and lose fluids just like younger people do. Make sure that the senior has water available during exercise. A home care provider can fill a water bottle before driving your aging relative to a group exercise class and make sure they take it with them. Or, when going for walks, gardening, or any other physical activity at home, a home care provider can make sure liquids are available and that the senior drinks them.
Offer Foods that Contain Liquids
Many foods also have a high liquid content and will help keep seniors hydrated. Home care providers can offer snacks like watermelon, popsicles, and soup to assist with preventing dehydration. Fruits and vegetables also have a higher water content than other foods. Yogurt and gelatin are also good options for snacks.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine actually cause the body to lose fluids, so they should be limited. Water is really the best drink to prevent dehydration. If your aging relative isn’t a fan of plain water, try adding a bit of lemon or lime. Water infused with fruit or cucumbers can also be a refreshing choice.
Offer More Liquids During Illness
Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting can cause a person to dehydrate more quickly. When your aging relative is ill, be sure to encourage them to take in extra liquids. Try offering warm herbal teas, broth, and fruit juices. If they are having difficulty keeping foods down, sucking on ice chips is also a good option.
Preventing dehydration in your aging relative is important in keeping them healthy. A home care provider can be a great asset in helping to ensure older adults take in plenty of liquids. They can also monitor the amount of water your loved one is drinking, and encourage more if they’re not drinking enough.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Kirkland WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.