Dehydration occurs when the body’s water output exceeds its water intake, which is common in older adults. Avoiding dehydration in our loved ones isn’t easy. As we age, our sense of thirst decreases, it becomes too much effort to grab a cup of water, and combined with the effort it takes to use the restroom after, you can see why an older loved one may avoid drinking even if they’re parched.
Ways Our Body Loses Water
Water makes up about 50% to 70% of our body weight, and each day we lose water through respiration, perspiration, and urine and bowel movements. We depend on water to also regulate our temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, carry nutrients to cells, protect sensitive tissues, and so much more. To avoid dehydration in our loved ones, we must remind them to continuously replenish their water supply. You’ve probably been following the advice to drink at least eight cups a day, but the exact amount can vary greatly from person to person, depending on several factors like exercise, environment, and overall health.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid Dehydration in Loved Ones
As we age, our ability to feel the sensation of thirst is reduced and our kidneys are no longer able to conserve as much water as they used to, which increases the risk of dehydration. The following are a few ways you can combat that:
- Diversify liquid consumption
Hydration is not only about fluid consumption. While drinking water is essential, we can gain water through food intake as well. Many healthy foods contain a higher water content than others, like watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peaches, yogurt, grapefruit, lettuce, among a whole lot more.
- Avoid excessive evaporation and elimination of water
Especially in the summer, avoid losing too much water due to perspiration by staying indoors in an airconditioned room if possible. This will help your body to maintain comfortable humidity, air exchange, and cooler body temperatures. Pick your fluids wisely too – although sugary and caffeinated drinks are popular on warmer days, these aren’t the best for hydration. They can cause your palpitations to suddenly speed up and an increase in the frequency of urination, leading to more elimination of water.
Importance of Avoiding Dehydration in Our Loved Ones and Common Signs of Dehydration
Sometimes it’s not easily noticeable when your loved one is dehydrated. However, it’s important to know what some of the warning signs are, as dehydration in the elderly can lead to an increased risk for conditions like kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and respiratory tract infections. There are many signs of dehydration you can look out for in your loved ones.
Mild dehydration symptoms:
- Dry mouth or thirst
- Cracked lips
- Skin that is dryer than usual
- Decreased urinary output or dark, smelly urine
Moderate dehydration symptoms:
- Lack of urination for eight hours and more
- Sunken eyes
Avoid Dehydration in Your Loved Ones with TerraBella Windsor Lake
If you want to ensure the holistic well-being of your elderly loved ones, you can consider getting help from a senior living community so they can age more comfortably with individuals who share similar goals.
To learn more about our exclusive senior living programs at TerraBella Windsor Lake, call us at 803.902.4017 today.