Dehydration is a serious concern for older adults. With age, the body doesn’t contain as much fluid as it once did. In addition, older adults typically don’t feel thirst as keenly as younger people do, so they may not realize they need liquids. This makes it easier for seniors to suffer from dehydration. Dehydration can lead to serious complications, like kidney problems and seizures. Though the risk of dehydration is serious, many older adults still resist drinking enough liquids. Part of the reason is that they don’t feel thirsty. They may also avoid drinking so they don’t have to get up and go to the bathroom as often or fear losing bladder control. However, there are ways you can get your aging relative to drink more water and take in enough liquids. Below are some suggestions that may help.
Make Water Easily Accessible
Sometimes seniors don’t drink enough water because they forget or because it’s difficult for them to walk into the kitchen to get it. Keeping water where they can easily reach it is often just the trick needed to get them to drink more. Make certain there is a glass or bottle of water near the older adult and offer a gentle reminder if you notice they haven’t drunk much of it.
Try Flavored Water
Drinking water all the time can get a little boring. Try offering flavored water, like seltzer water. You can also make infused water at home by placing cut up fruit or cucumbers in a pitcher of water where they will lend a bit of flavor to the water.
Experiment with Beverages
People have different tastes and preferences when it comes to beverages. Some people would rather drink a hot beverage, no matter the temperature outside, than a cold one. Others want ice even when there’s snow on the ground. Experiment with beverages to make them appealing to your aging relative. You might even try warming up a glass of juice or adding some sparkling water to a glass of iced tea if the senior likes bubbles.
Serve Savory Liquids
Don’t forget that liquids are available in foods and not just beverages. Soups are an excellent way to get older adults to consume more liquids. Fruits and vegetables also have a high liquid content. Also, don’t forget that broth counts as a liquid and can be an enjoyable thing for seniors to sip on a cold day.
Elder care can also help to prevent dehydration in your older family member. Elder care providers can be certain that the older adult has water near them at all times and encourage them to drink from it throughout the day. Elder care providers can also make beverages of all different kinds, including tea, coffee, and cups of broth. And, if the senior has a temperature preference, the elder care provider can serve beverages the way they like them.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.