When the human body loses more fluid than what is consumed, dehydration starts to occur. Water is important to the human body as it is required for many processes that take place. This includes body temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and getting rid of waste within the body. Hydration is especially important for older adults, as they tend to have a higher risk of complications including kidney issues, constipation, inadequate electrolytes, loss of balance, and more. At senior living communities like TerraBella Southern Pines, we take utmost care of our residents’ diets and do our best to ensure they are consuming enough water to stay hydrated. Read on to find out more about how you can help avoid dehydration in aging adults.
Why Are Older Adults More Prone to Dehydration
There are several reasons why older adults are more prone to dehydration. As people age and get older, there will be a decline in the total amount of body fluid in a person. This means that there will be even fewer water reserves the body can turn to use when there is insufficient water intake. Furthermore, a person’s thirst response can be lowered when they are older. When there is insufficient water in the body, feeling thirsty is a signal the body sends to a person to remind them to drink water. However, due to weaker thirst responses in older adults, they tend to drink less water. Older adults also have weaker kidney function which leads to loss of more water through urination, or other medications and health conditions that lead to more water loss.
Drink Beverages Throughout the Day
One tip to prevent hydration is to drink up during the day. If your loved one finds it hard to drink plain water, other beverages like fruit juices low in sugar, sparkling or flavored water and milk are other options to turn to as well, though they should not be substitutes. Tea and coffee should be limited as they are diuretics.
Be Creative with Water
Water may not be appealing for everyone, so to encourage your loved one to drink more water, you could try adding fruits, or squeezing fresh lime and lemon in the water to add flavor.
Eat Food with High Water Content
You could also try to incorporate food that has higher water content into the diet of your loved one. This includes food like celery, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, soups, or broths that are low in sodium.
Pack Enough Water When Exercising
Water is lost through sweat during exercise. If you and your loved one are going to be out for a walk or exercising in humid and hot conditions that could result in lots of sweat, remember to pack sufficient water so that your loved one will be able to hydrate themselves when after exercise.
If you are caring for an older adult, it is important to take note of their diet and to ensure they get enough hydration and nutrients, amongst other things. At TerraBella Southern Pines, our team of experts takes care of every aspect of senior living and ensures that our residents get sufficient nutrients, hydration and rest. Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we have to offer today!