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Staying Hydrated - Not Just a Summer Problem
Elizabeth Bemis

By: Elizabeth Bemis on September 24th, 2019

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Staying Hydrated - Not Just a Summer Problem

Independent Senior Living  |  memory care  |  Aging & Caregiving  |  dependent senior living

With warm weather and time in the sun, staying hydrated is challenging for everyone, especially seniors but many don’t realize they can become dehydrated at any time during the year. Dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization, especially in the summer months. Although the warm season is a time to be on guard for dehydration, this could be a potential risk at any time of the year. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye out for signs of dehydration in
yourself if you’re a senior, or in a parent or senior loved one, if you’re a caregiver.

Here are a few signs of dehydration to be aware of, and some tips to help seniors stay hydrated and healthy all year long.

 

Signs of Dehydration to Watch for in Seniors

 

Seniors can easily become dehydrated, so it’s important to know what signs to look for and to educate seniors on those signs, too. Here are a few ways to tell that a senior is becoming dehydrated:

  • Thirst or having a dry mouth
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having muscle cramps or aches
  • Challenges with walking
  • Confusion

While some of these signs might seem like common knowledge, they’re important to be aware of. Thirst, for example might seem like a basic indicator of dehydration, but many seniors’ sense of thirst can diminish with age. While this dehydration indicator might seem like a no-brainer, thirst is a sign to pay attention to.


Unfortunately, some of these signs can be regular occurrences with seniors, both due to age and the side effects of some medications. So, it’s easy to attribute fatigue to a new medicine’s side effect instead of dehydration.


Because these signs might be easy to miss, let’s look at some ways to help seniors stay hydrated.

 

6 Tips for Keeping Seniors Hydrated

 

Try these tips for keeping seniors hydrated all year long:

  1. Drink water throughout the day. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids during the day and not just during mealtime. Some people only drink water during meals, making it hard to get in the needed ounces for the day. When you drink water all day long, it’s much easier to avoid dehydration. Try filling up a water bottle first thing in the morning and later in the day and keeping it close by at all times.
  2. Stop and assess how you feel. It’s easy to forget to drink water during the day. Talking to friends, reading a good book, watching TV – any of these pastimes can be a distraction from staying hydrated. Taking a moment to assess how you’re feeling can help you identify signs of dehydration.
  3. Try other beverages. Water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. Seltzer is a great low-sugar, low calorie option. Try adding lemon, orange or lime slices to your water. Tea, milk, juice, or lemonade are other hydration options for seniors but be sure to pay attention to the sugar levels in juice,. A sugar-free or low-calorie juice may be ideal, especially for seniors with diabetes.
  4. Make sure water is easily accessible. When water is sitting out, seniors might remember to drink more. Keep a small pitcher or water bottle nearby to make sure seniors are reminded to drink water whenever they’re thirsty.
  5. Don’t just stick to cold beverages. Drinking ice water all day can be a little boring. Seniors who like hot tea or hot water with lemon are in luck. These warm drinks can help seniors stay hydrated, too.
  6. Treat yourself. Staying hydrated can be pretty tasty if you’re including the right treats! You may not realize it, but sweet treats like fruit popsicles or milkshakes can help seniors avoid dehydration, too.


With a little mindfulness and some strategies for avoiding dehydration, seniors can stay healthy and hydrated all year long.

 

Do you want more tips on how seniors can stay healthy? Download this guide on Exercise for Seniors now.

 

About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.