Sufficient Hydration is vital for health at all ages, but is especially important for seniors.
Dehydration in Seniors
Many seniors do not drink enough water, often because aging causes the sensation of thirst to occur less frequently, while the water reserves in the body also decrease with age. Dehydration is among the top 10 causes of hospitalization for seniors, and failing to maintain a proper level of Hydration by getting in enough water can be detrimental to various facets of seniors’ health.
Impacts of Dehydration
Seniors’ bodies are harmed even more significantly by dehydration than those of their younger counterparts, and lack of sufficient Hydration can have multiple damaging outcomes on areas such as:
- Digestive System
Dehydration can lead to numerous symptoms that impede seniors’ quality of life, such as:
- Increased Risk of Falls
- Impaired Comprehension Skills
- Decreased Mobility
Cases of extreme dehydration can even be harmful enough to endanger seniors’ lives.
The following are some behaviours and tools to help motivate seniors to drink enough water and keep themselves Hydrated:
- Monitor Consumption of Dehydrating Food/Drinks: Salty foods and drinks that are high is caffeine, such as tea, coffee, and many soft drinks, are very dehydrating for the body. Try reducing consumption of these items, or at least monitoring them to make sure enough water is consumed to counteract their dehydrating effects.
- Eat Hydrating Foods: Try increasing intake of foods with a higher water content, such as vegetables and juicy fruits. This will help increase Hydration in a way other than through drinking.
- Drink Water at Every Chance: Any chance to get in a little extra Hydration is beneficial for health. When taking a sip of water to swallow a pill, try drinking an entire glass.
- Don’t Wait to Be Thirsty: Rather than only drinking when the sensation of thirst strikes, treat drinking enough water as a chore or task for the day that must be completed. It is recommended that the average person try to get about 2 litres, or around 8 glasses, of water each day to stay sufficiently hydrated.
- Choose Beverages You Like: While drinking water is undoubtedly the best way to get hydrated, consuming other liquids that you enjoy can be beneficial too. Juices, herbal teas, soup broths, and other beverages can help with Hydration as well.
- Always Keep Water with You: Keep a glass or pitcher of water in the rooms at home in which most time is spent to make sure it is always accessible, and take bottled water out whenever leaving the house.
Incorporating behaviours and strategies that help keep seniors amply hydrated can lead to better overall health and wellbeing for seniors.