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Are You Drinking Enough Fluids?

On Behalf of | Dec 20, 2019 | Firm News

According to an article from the National Care Planning Council, April 2, 2019, “Dehydration, failure to consume adequate fluids to replace those that are lost, is a major problem for the elderly. About 10 percent of all hospitalizations are directly attributable to dehydration. Seniors are particularly susceptible to becoming dehydrated. It can even result in death if severe enough.”

As the body ages there are many changes taking place. People often eat less as well as drink less fluids. Throughout the day they just forget to drink because they do not feel thirsty like they did when they were younger.

This article tells how important hydration is to a person’s body. “Hydration is needed to regulate blood electrolytes, regulate body temperature, maintain blood pressure.” It goes on to explain that, “older people who get enough water tend to suffer less constipation, use less laxatives, have fewer falls.”

Some signs of dehydration in an older person is confusion, headaches, dark urine, cramping in their limbs, sleepiness and irritability, to name a few.

There are a few ways to help your loved one to stay hydrated. Have a variety of different fluids to choose from as well as fruits and vegetables that are more water based on hand. Also pay attention to how easy is it for your loved to get to the different liquids. Find ways to make it available to them. Even then, they may still not drink enough because they just forget to drink and again, don’t feel thirsty. So, reminders are also helpful.

If your elderly loved one lives in their own home, it may take a quick phone call reminder throughout the day or stopping in on your way to work to make sure their beverages are visible and close by.

There are times that the elder chooses not to drink because they are afraid of having incontinence and feel embarrassed. At times like this encourage them to drink the most in the morning and back off somewhat later in the day. Also, basic reminders to use the restroom when you visit and set up some type of reminder to use the restroom before bedtime.

There are several easy to use products that can be used for daytime and overnight to help with any possible accidents that they may experience.

Anyway, the family can help in this area will be beneficial. Dehydration causes so many struggles for people and they have no idea they are having these struggles until it is too late. Often family will find their loved one on the floor extremely confused and unable to help themselves and once in the ER it is determined they are dehydrated. At that point they may have a urinary trach infection (UTI) related to the dehydration. UTI’s can also cause confusion and disorientation and the elder does not have the same discomfort triggering the realization of a UTI as when they were younger.

So, drink up and stay hydrated!!