Drink Up! Dehydration in Seniors
With the summer sun and warm weather upon us, more and more of us tend to head outside for outdoor fun and activities. But, before you enjoy your fun in the sun, it’s important to make sure that you stay hydrated. Dehydration is extremely common, but seniors are at increased risk. In fact, chronic dehydration is involved in a number of illnesses that older adults face, such as hypertension, heart disease, and even joint pain and arthritis. In this post, we’ll explore more about dehydration, including the warning signs and tips for preventing this common condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration
Did you know the human body is made of about 60% water? Water is essential for your survival, and the body needs water to regulate your temperature, remove waste and toxins, and deliver nutrients to your cells. When you don’t drink enough water, you can experience a variety of health issues. Some of the long-term effects of dehydration include headaches, memory troubles, kidney stones, and blood clots. That’s why it’s crucial that you know the following signs of dehydration:
- Dry mouth and skin
- Muscle cramps
- Decreased urination and constipation
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
Hydration Tips for Seniors
Fortunately, mild dehydration has an easy fix, and overall is an easily preventable condition. Here are some tips to stay hydrated:
Drink more fluids, especially water. Some doctors suggest 40 ounces of water daily for seniors. Try aiming for five eight-ounce glasses of water each day as a health goal.
Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol whenever possible. Both alcohol and caffeine can lead to dehydration because they cause you to lose more fluid than you take in.
Eat foods that contain water, especially fruits and vegetables. Jello, soup and yogurt are also hydrating foods.
Are your medications making you thirsty? Some medications have frequent urination and dry mouth as side effects. Speak with your physician if you suspect this may be true for you.
Drink beverages that you enjoy. While water is the best source for replenishing your fluids, try tea, fruit juice, milk or sparkling water to quench your thirst.
A Vibrant, Healthy Way of Life at Immanuel Lutheran Communities
At Immanuel Lutheran Communities, we weave senior wellness into daily living. Our chef-prepared dining menu offers nutritious meals to keep you hydrated and nourished throughout the day. We focus on all six dimensions of wellness through a variety of healthy activities for residents. You’ll find several fitness classes designed with you in mind to meet your health and fitness goals.
We offer a variety of senior living options as well, from independent living to skilled nursing and memory care, ensuring you’ll find a perfect fit here. Contact us today to learn more about our inviting and welcoming community in the Flathead Valley of Montana.