How dangerous can not drinking water really be? Probably more than you think! During the hot, summer days as well as cold, dry ones in winter, being properly hydrated is imperative, especially for senior citizens. However, not all seniors are aware of how dangerous improper hydration can be. In fact, dehydration is among the most frequent reasons for hospitalization with the elderly. Professional caregivers referred by A Better Way in Home Care, premier Los Angeles home caregiver referral service, know how to monitor the signs and make sure senior citizens stay well hydrated.
Why Hydration is More Important as We Get Older?
The reality is that we don’t often think about staying hydrated. When we get thirsty we reach out for water or any other liquid. However, as we age the dehydration no longer causes thirst as it does when we are younger. With seniors, the brain can send signals that the thirst has been quenched, when in reality it hasn’t. This is often attributed to the weakened stomach muscles, which expand more with less intake in seniors. This can lead to the elderly citizens feeling full when in fact they aren’t.
The other reason is part of our nature. We all know that water makes up for 60% or our bodies, but as we age that percentage is decreased by up to 15%. This process begins when we are 20 and develops well into adulthood. Additionally, certain chronic diseases such as kidney disease or diabetes can affect hydration. As we age our chance of contracting these diseases increases, and with it the lack of hydration.
Spotting the Sings of Dehydration
Since thirst is not the best symptom of dehydration in seniors, professional caregivers know how to notice other, more subtle signs of dehydration. First of all, headaches and fatigue often develop when the body is not properly hydrated. Furthermore, decreased urination, dry mouth or nasal passages are also a clear sign that something is wrong. Finally, sings of confusion, lightheadedness, vomiting or diarrhea can also be interpreted as signs of dehydration.
How to Keep Seniors Hydrated
Because seniors cannot rely on thirst as a sign that they might be improperly hydrated, their caregivers have to come up with a plan. These include scheduling regular intakes of water. This way, seniors can have their daily intake of water by splitting the recommended amount of liquid throughout the day. You can achieve this by scheduling an alarm or measuring the intake of water with a labeled bottle. To prevent any trips to the bathroom late at night, try to schedule the last intake a few hours before bedtime.
Apart from water, seniors can stay hydrated through various fruits and vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, melons or grapefruit. All of these have high concentration of water as well as nutrients and vitamins.
Los Angeles home caregiver service and caregiver referral
A Better Way in Home Care is the leading home care service referral provider serving Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and more. We strive to make a perfect caregiver-client match, and refer only caregivers that undergo our thorough checks and pass our requirements. Contact us now and meet a caregiver who will make sure your senior loved one stays hydrated and healthy!