Are you monitoring your aging relative’s fluid intake? If you aren’t sure how much water your elderly loved one is drinking every day, or what the signs are for dehydration in seniors, you could be putting their health at risk. As a family caregiver with a dependent elderly relative, you should take the time to learn more about the importance of hydration in seniors and why it is quite common for them to quickly become dehydrated.
How Do Seniors Become Dehydrated So Quickly?
If a person’s body loses fluids too quickly without them being replenished somehow, it results in a condition known as dehydration. Without enough fluids, many of the body’s systems won’t work properly, putting strain on many areas. Elderly adults can become dehydrated quite quickly, and because many of the symptoms mimic other age-related issues, it is possible for family caregivers to miss the signs. If it is left untreated, elderly adults could face kidney failure and even death.
Elderly adults become dehydrated quicker than younger adults for several reasons. Their senses are not as acute, so they often don’t feel thirsty even when dehydrated. Sometimes they struggle with eating, drinking or incontinence, causing them to avoid drinking enough. Body tissues and kidneys don’t retain fluids as well as in younger adults, causing the body to lose it more rapidly. Finally, vomiting and diarrhea, common side effects of many age-related problems, can further cause dehydration.
How Family Caregivers Can Help Seniors Stay Hydrated
To keep your loved one properly hydrated, it’s important for the elderly adult’s entire support team to focus on delivering fluid to them throughout the day. The first step is to serve elderly adults water or other liquid for every meal and make sure they drink it all. Next, seniors should have access to water throughout the day. Many carry a water bottle with them and work to drink it all by the end of the evening. Elder care providers can help remind seniors about taking sips to help them get the right amount.
Elder care providers can also serve seniors food that has high water content. This delivers fluids to the body without having to drink water all the time. Water-rich food includes celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, and lettuce. Tea and coffee can also help keep seniors hydrated. Dehydration is completely avoidable when elderly adults take in enough fluids throughout the day.
As a family caregiver, you shouldn’t underestimate the dangers that dehydration can bring to an elderly adult. When you look for the symptoms of dehydration, you can get more fluids into them. However, keeping hydration as a priority for you and the elder care provider, your elderly loved one should never have to worry about the dangers of dehydration.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering professional elder care in Quakertown, PA, talk to Unlimited Staffing Solutions. Specializing in Home and Community Based Support Waiver Services Since 2001. Please Call Us for Your Home Care Needs (215) 447-7133
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