Aug 6, 2015 by Anonymous
The Importance of Hydration for Seniors
In the intense heat of summer, hydration becomes essential for everyone and none more than the elderly. Aging, medication, and other factors can cause heat and dehydration to have a severe effect on seniors, as their bodies have a more difficult time regulating temperature. Keeping this in mind when you are spending time with your senior loved ones is important to ensuring their health and well-being.
Have water on hand. When you are assisting your loved one with errands or visiting family, bring water to have on hand as they need it. Seniors may not want to request a drink or may not even realize how thirsty they are. However, if you are consistently handing the water to them, they will remember to drink and stay hydrated. Try adding lemon, lime, or cucumber to water to make it more tempting. Another good spot to have water on hand is the nightstand, so that thirst can be easily quenched throughout the night.
Help them stay cool. As we age, our bodies have a more difficult time regulating temperature in extreme weather. Help your older family members by doing what you can to help them stay cool. If they have air conditioning, make sure it is well maintained and fully operational. If not, ensure that fans are on hand and that windows facing the sun have curtains drawn. If their home becomes too hot, take them somewhere cool until the heat of the day passes.
Watch for symptoms of dehydration. You and the senior in your care should be aware of the signs of dehydration. Frequently, we assume that if they are not thirsty, they must be fine, but there are additional signals that you can look for that hydration is needed.
If you see any of these symptoms of dehydration, encourage your loved one to rest, cool down, and drink plenty of water before participating in any further activity.