The National Ageing Research Institute (NARI) noted that this can be particularly problematic for older adults, who may be more susceptible to dehydration due to factors such as reduced kidney function, certain medical conditions and medications. Ensure that your elderly stay hydrated and maintain their overall health and well-being by following these tips:
Elderly individuals must drink fluids throughout the day, not just when thirst strikes.
The Department of Health noted that while water may be the best choice for hydration, other fluids such as broths, soups, fruit juice, and sports drinks can also help keep them hydrated.
Offering a variety of fluids can help ensure they are getting the right amount and balance of nutrients.
NARI recommends setting a schedule to offer fluids to your elderly loved ones, such as every hour or two, to ensure that they are getting enough fluid throughout the day.
In addition to offering fluids at regular intervals, encourage them to drink fluids in between meals as well.
Pro tip: Consider using a daily fluid tracker. You can use a simple chart or app to track their intake and make adjustments as needed.
Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry mouth and throat, dark yellow urine and feeling dizzy or lightheaded. If your elderly loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, DOH said to encourage them to drink more fluids and seek medical attention if necessary.
Using a straw can make it easier for elderly individuals who have difficulty swallowing to drink fluids. The Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) also mentioned that fluids at room temperature may be easier to swallow than cold fluids.
Some medications can increase the risk of dehydration, so it is important to discuss this with a healthcare provider and adjust their fluid intake accordingly. Here are some of the medications to look out for:
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate fluid intake for their needs. They may have specific recommendations based on age, medical conditions, and medications.
Keeping your elderly loved ones hydrated is an important aspect of maintaining their health and well-being. By encouraging them to drink fluids regularly, paying attention to signs and considering their medications, you can help ensure that they stay hydrated and healthy and avoid the negative effects of dehydration.