The Importance of Keeping Seniors Hydrated, Especially During the Summer Months

The weather during the summer months gets really hot. This leads to increased levels of dehydration, especially in seniors. Dehydration is a phenomenon whereby the body’s water loss is more than its intake. Most times, drinking more water is the simple solution to this problem. However, older folk’s sense of thirst declines greatly with age.

In some worse cases where the senior has dementia, they might not remember to drink water at all throughout the day. Dehydration is a significant issue in seniors today, and people need to learn the importance of keeping seniors hydrated, especially during the summer period, when the weather can get unfavorably hot.

Hydration helps maintain a normal blood level and kidney function and aids food digestion. All these things are necessary for maintaining a healthy body. Averagely, men should take 2.5 liters of water daily, and women should take 2 liters for the healthy running of the body system. What are the reasons why seniors need to hydrate?

Reasons Why Seniors Need to Hydrate

1.   Helps Kidney Function

The kidney is a very important organ of the body. It deals with blood filtration by excreting waste products from the body and maintaining fluid levels. When people grow older, the performance of their kidneys drops. This further proves the need for elders to keep themselves hydrated at all times to help maintain kidney function.

As kidney functions reduce, the body’s ability to remove waste products and filter blood drops. To ensure that the body organs of seniors maintain their functions, it is important to keep seniors hydrated, especially during the summer period.

2.   Decreased Sense of Thirst

With age, humans lose their ability to experience thirst. When individuals are young, they know when the body needs water as they still have their sense of thirst. However, for older people, their sense of thirst deteriorates with time, and they might not feel the need for fluid intake.

This is why it is crucial always to pay attention to elderly ones and make sure they stay hydrated at all times to prevent their body system from being affected and having to face medical emergencies.

3.   Aids Digestion

Drinking enough water can aid the digestion process. Without enough water in the body, constipation might occur, and food may not be able to digest properly; hence, seniors need to drink enough water daily. Various medical conditions can be caused by a lack of water, such as acid reflux and gastritis.

Drinking enough water can help prevent these diseases. The bodies of elderly ones are more fragile. Therefore, it is important to help them keep hydrated at all times to prevent illnesses and aid in food digestion.

Tips for Keeping Your Elderly Loved Ones Hydrated

  1. Healthy Eating

Many fruits and veggies are composed primarily of water, so encouraging these healthy foods can help keep the elderly hydrated. Also, avoiding sugary drinks and alcohol that can be dehydrating is another way to help keep loved ones hydrated.

  1. Be Knowledgeable About Medications

Some medications may act as a diuretic and can also contribute to dehydration. Be sure to offer more fluids when your loved one is taking medication that can dehydrate them.

  1. Wear Breathable Clothing

Wearing breathable clothing can help seniors cool, thus helping to avoid dehydration. When seniors wear heavy, non-breathable clothing, this can cause them to sweat in the summer months. Any hydration that is expelled from the body needs to be replaced. So breathable clothing can help elderly loved ones avoid dehydration.

  1. Taking Breaks

When performing tasks, indoors or out, it is good to take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion and sweating. Taking breaks help to avoid overperforming any tasks, thus helping to avoid dehydration.

  1. Encourage Fluids

Sometimes our seniors can forget to drink water, or anything at all. It is always helpful to encourage them to drink to keep them hydrated, especially during the summer months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Dehydration is never a good thing for older adults. Helping them stay hydrated is key to prolonging the lives of aging loved ones. Many older people lose the ability to feel thirst with age. This makes it harder for them to know when to drink water. Reminding our elderly to keep themselves hydrated regularly, especially in the summer when weather conditions increase the need for water intake, is very important. If you have questions about your elderly loved ones and keeping them hydrated, contact Pomeroy Living or email us at info@pomeroyliving.com

 

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.