Dehydration is very common in elderly adults, and many family caregivers get very frustrated trying to force their loved ones to drink many glasses of water each day. Not only can it get tedious for both parties, but the elderly adults may simply not have the desire to drink so much.
Family caregivers will be pleased to know that there are many foods that provide proper fluids for the elderly. By supplementing the diet with these hydrating foods, seniors will definitely get enough water each day. It’s much easier to prevent dehydration with attention and planning than it is to deal with an elder relative’s deteriorating health. A caregiver from an agency can help prepare healthy and hydrating meals for seniors when family caregivers are unavailable or simply need help with the responsibilities of caring for a senior.
Dangers of Dehydration in Seniors
Dehydration is not healthy for anyone, but it can be especially problematic for elderly adults. Some of the causes of dehydration in elderly adults include laxatives or diuretics, medication side effects, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased kidney function and even just a lack of thirst.
Without adequate water, seniors can experience urinary tract infections, dizziness and confusion. Dehydration can also cause dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, constipation, sunken eyes and the inability to sweat. In severe cases, dehydration can mean unconsciousness or even death.
Foods That Keep Seniors Hydrated
To ensure an aging loved one isn’t suffering from the effects of dehydration, family caregivers can turn to certain foods to help. They can also look to the help of a professional caregiver for support in ensuring their senior's hydration level. Besides drinking enough water throughout the day, seniors can also eat some foods with high water content, or that are primarily made with water. People can get up to 20 percent of the daily recommended intake this way.
Here are some of the foods with a high water content that can add to the overall hydration of an elderly relative:
- Star fruit
Family caregivers always need to monitor their aging relative to make sure they are not suffering from dehydration. The best way to do this is to look at the person’s urine color. If it is light, then the body is adequately hydrated. If the urine is darker and giving off a strong odor, then dehydration is present. When caregivers include hydrating foods in their relative’s diet, they can help keep the body healthy and functioning properly.
Other tips to keep seniors hydrated include keeping a water bottle close by so they can drink when they want, and always encouraging them to sip throughout the day. Keeping caffeine and alcohol out of the drink rotation can also help. Seniors should always get drinks at mealtime and with snacks as well. With a proactive approach, family caregivers shouldn’t have to worry about dehydration in their loved one. Prevention is much better than illness when it comes to staying properly hydrated.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Williamston, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.