As you age, it is important to be aware of how much water you drink in a day. Older adults tend to retain less water, making it harder to stay hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, the body’s natural sense of thirst diminishes with age, which is why you may not be hydrated even if you aren’t thirsty. Some signs of dehydration in older adults include fatigue, low blood pressure, dry mouth, dizziness, and more. To help your loved one understand the importance of drinking water, here are some reasons why seniors need to stay hydrated.
Regulate Body Temperature
When temperatures reach their peak in the hot summer months, we usually sweat more and thus lose water. However, older adults do not sweat as much, which puts them at a greater risk of being overheated. As your loved ones may not even notice that they are overheated, not drinking enough water can lead to heat strokes and in the worst case, loss of consciousness. It is thus important to stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure that your loved ones are healthy and not at risk of dehydration.
Improve Brain Function
Roughly three-fourths of the brain is made up of water, which suggests that not drinking enough water can be risky for maintaining brain function. For older adults with dementia, this can be extremely dangerous for their health, as forgetting to drink water can lead to mental fatigue, feelings of nausea, and even loss of consciousness. To help your loved one increase their water intake, fruits and vegetables with high water content such as cucumbers and strawberries are a great way to stay hydrated.
Boost Digestive Health
When your loved one does not drink enough water, they may get constipated. Staying hydrated, coupled with consuming the recommended amount of fiber, can help your loved ones stay on top of their digestive health. Dehydration can lead to a higher risk of contracting acid reflux, gastritis, and even stomach ulcers. Drinking enough water can help regulate the stomach’s pH, so make sure your loved one keeps a bottle of water with them at all times. Consider setting a timer to remind them to drink throughout the day and track their consumption levels.
Don’t Neglect the Kidney
As we age, our kidney function also decreases, which leads to a decreased ability for our body to concentrate our urine. In order for older adults to maintain their kidney health, they should stay hydrated throughout the day. If your loved one lives in an assisted living community such as Discovery Village At Tampa Palms, the Sensations dining program offers a wide variety of food and drinks that can keep your loved one hydrated.
Improve Urinary Health
Urinary incontinence is a frustrating experience that can decrease an older adult’s self-confidence. To avoid this, some older adults tend to forgo drinking water throughout the day. However, this can lead to painful urinary tract infections that are harmful to your loved one’s health. Encourage your loved one to drink small quantities frequently throughout the day.