The Importance of Hydration for Aging Adults

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A large portion of the human body is composed of water, but did you know that the younger a person is, the higher the percentage of water his or her body contains? As a result, dehydration becomes an increased risk as people age, and dehydrated seniors can become seriously ill if they’re not quickly and properly treated. 

Factors that Precipitate Dehydration 

It’s a normal part of the aging process to experience a decrease in sensations. For many seniors, thirst is often not readily perceived, and drinking water regularly is therefore skipped. Other factors that could be contributing to a senior’s dehydration include, but are not limited to: 

 

  • Medications – Seniors may also be taking life-saving diuretics that can cause dehydration
  • Health issues – Decreased kidney function and poorly controlled diabetes can contribute to fluid loss
  • Side effects of chronic conditions – Difficulty with swallowing, as is seen with Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative disorders, can make drinking difficult

Increasing fluid intake is one of the simplest ways to lower the risk of dehydration. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

Symptoms of Fluid Loss

There are certain symptoms that may indicate dehydration. These include exhaustion, dizziness, confusion, urine that appears dark orange, and dry skin that doesn’t readily spring back when pulled. Severe fluid loss can result in nausea, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. 

Dehydration is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Oshkosh families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Staying Hydrated 

For several years, the population has been advised by the media to drink eight glasses of water per day. In reality, eight glasses a day for some individuals, especially seniors, can be dangerous. People require varying amounts of water throughout the day according to their ages and activity levels. For instance, a petite elderly woman with congestive heart failure could go into a medical crisis after drinking excessive amounts of fluids. It’s important to consult with your loved one’s doctor to determine the amount of water that’s safe and will promote health. 

Drinking Smart 

Water is the best liquid to drink to keep hydrated. Many seniors sip coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages throughout the day, not realizing that caffeine has a tendency to cause dehydration. Caffeinated drinks should be enjoyed in small to moderate amounts, and water should be a senior’s main source of hydration. 

To ensure your loved one is staying hydrated, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Oshkosh, WI, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. Call us today at (920) 573-6295 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.

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