Dehydration is a real threat for older adults. It can lead to serious health risks such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and even death. In our last post we shared a few tips caregivers can use to spot the signs of dehydration in their patients. In this post we’ll offer a few strategies you can use for preventing dehydration altogether. As is often the case, success requires consistent effort.
Causes of Dehydration
Understanding the causes of dehydration is a good place to start in preventing dehydration. As our bodies age, we naturally carry less water and our ability to replace and regulate our water becomes compromised. In addition, seniors are often less able to feel the thirst which is an early dehydration indicator. Combine this with prescription medications that can have a diuretic effect and you have a recipe for trouble. Because this issue is so widespread, caregivers should do everything they can to make liquid consumption as easy as possible for their elderly patients.
Strategies for Preventing Dehydration
As an overall strategy, making water consumption a regular part of a senior’s day should be job number 1. Make sure you provide water, juice, or tea with every meal. Keep a water bottle next to their bed or favorite chair. Encourage them to drink a glass of water every time they take their medications. If they’re concerned about incontinence, have them drink small amounts of water throughout the day instead of all at once.
But hydration can also be regulated in other ways. Fluids often come from our food, so ensure your senior is eating a diet filled with fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, and soups. Limiting the intake of diuretics like alcohol and caffeine can also be helpful.
Generations Home Care Can Help
If all this sounds overwhelming, it’s understandable. Caregiving is a challenging occupation. If you need help monitoring your loved one’s hydration or with any of the dozens of daily caregiving tasks, call Generations Home Care can today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or fill out our contact form. We’ll perform a no-obligation assessment that will tailer a service package to your exact needs. Together we can make sure your elderly loved one is living their best possible life.