Many of us have the wrong idea that dehydration, defined as losing more fluid than taking in, can be avoided because our sense of thirst will remind us to drink water. However, the fact is that your loved one’s sense of thirst will decline significantly as they get older. Adult men are recommended to drink 10 cups of water (2500 ml) and women should drink 8 cups (2000 ml) a day.
Being hydrated is important because it keeps the blood volume normal and electrolytes balanced. It also helps to transport nutrients, digest food, and keep the kidneys functioning. Being dehydrated may lead to the risk of mental confusion in the elderly.
Here are some ways to encourage your loved one to drink more water.
Have Different Sources Of Fluids
Do you know that you do not have to drink only water to stay hydrated? There is water in tea, coffee, sweetened beverages, fruit juice, vegetables and fruits. If dehydration is causing issues for your elderly loved one but they really struggle with drinking healthy liquids, you may want to change your tactic, like letting them drink less healthy choices like diet soda. However, be sure to check with their doctors to make sure that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and this trade off will enhance their overall health. Otherwise, you can try offering more foods that have a higher water content, so that your loved one can increase water intake without drinking fluids.
Make Sure There Is Water Close By At All Times
Sometimes, it turns out that by making it easy for your loved one to drink water could actually inspire them to drink more water. You can place a jug of water near their favorite armchair or on the table next to their bed to make it convenient for them to reach out and have a quick drink.
Test Out Beverages Of Different Temperatures
Your loved one may prefer cold drinks, or sometimes they might want to have a cup of warm water. You need to test out which type they like better. To increase their consumption of liquids, you can offer them a variety of drinks, such as warm juices, decaf iced coffee or soda with juice.
Offer Savory Food With High Water Content
Does your loved one like savory food? If the answer is yes, they may prefer drinking broth like chicken soup instead of a sugary beverage. For your convenience, the broth can be made from a box, can, or powder. A warm broth is especially soothing during the winter season. If your loved one needs to be careful of their salt intake, you can find a variety of low sodium broth in the stores, or you can consider making the broth yourself.
Offer Your Loved One Popsicles
Who doesn’t love an ice-cold popsicle on a hot day? Making popsicles at home from fruit juice or from a mixture of water and juice are fun and easy ways to get your older loved one to drink more water.