Start Healthy! Start With a Glass of Water!

February 22, 2013

We know that we’re supposed to encourage our aging parents to drink plenty of water.  And, we know that hydration is the key reason for drinking plenty of fluids.  But do we know why senior hydration concerns are so  important to our loved ones?

English: Drinking water fountain

Water serves as our body’s thermostat.

We know that summer-time dehydration is a threat to our body’s cooling ability, but did you know the water in our body helps our tissue insulate against cold weather, too?

Water keeps our organs working.

Drinking plenty of water helps keep our urinary tract flushed out and can help prevent urinary tract infections, which are a common threat to seniors.  Additionally, plenty of fluid keeps toxins from building up and damaging organs such as our kidneys and liver.

Seniors may drink plenty of water to satisfy a thirst, but not enough to prevent hydration and that’s where steps to encourage fluid intake is so important.

Water is one options, but we can encourage fluid intake with other foods such as:

  1. Milk
  2. Soup
  3. Fruit and vegetable juices
  4. Gelatin
  5. Decaffeinated drinks

Here are some other tips to help keep the water flowing in order to combat senior hydration concerns:

  1. Drink water upon first waking
  2. Drink before every meal
  3. Take when walking by a drinking fountain, kitchen sink or refrigerator dispenser
  4. Always drink before, during and after any exercise
  5. Eat lots of fruit and veggies; they’re good for you and they are high in water content

If fear of incontinence is keeping your loved one from consuming enough water, consider:

  1. Introducing incontinence undergarments; especially during high-need times such as during travel, church services,  or social gatherings
  2. Scheduling bath room breaks at frequent and regularly timed  intervals
  3. Selecting locations in frequently occupied rooms that would be a suitable location for a chair side toilet or urinal

Whatever adaptation it takes, keep the fluids flowing so that your senior adult maintains hydration. For more information on nutrition, check out www.caregiverstress.com

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