Benefits, Prevention Tips, Symptoms: It’s important for all of us to stay hydrated. It’s especially crucial for our seniors. Dehydration is very common. Here are some ways staying hydrated is beneficial, tips to help prevent dehydration, and symptoms to look out for.

Our bodies need to be hydrated to support a complex system that balances electrolytes and fluids. Maintaining that balance helps in so many ways including:

1. Regulates body temperature
2. Keeps joints lubricated
3. Delivers both nutrients and medications to cells
4. Helps keep organs functioning properly
5. Flushes urinary tract and preventing UTIs

Everyone has different preferences so it’s good to get creative when offering foods and drinks that can help keep our seniors hydrated. If you are thinking of different ideas, it’s good to check with their physician to be sure it is the best fit for them. Below are some tips to help seniors stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer days.

1. Keep water nearby at all times
Having the fluids easily accessible can encourage and remind someone to continuously drink. Make it more convenient for them by keeping a light water pitcher and cup near where they enjoy sitting.

2. Try liquids in different forms and at different temperature
Some people enjoy hot drinks over cold, or vice versa. Test out different temperatures to see what they like best. You can try giving someone hot soup broth instead of a regular drink, or even a homemade popsicle of fruit juice and water.

3. Offer milkshakes, smoothies, sports drinks, or even ensure
If the person continues to resist drinking liquids, try offering them something more enticing. We know they aren’t the healthiest choices, however they might be more amenable to drinking if they enjoy the taste and texture.

The effects of dehydration may start off seemingly harmless however they can become detrimental quickly. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Thirst is typically the first sign of dehydration, followed by flushed skin, headaches, fatigue, and dry mouth.
  • Body temperature, breathing, and heart rate can all increase which can turn into dizziness, increased weakness, and even confusion. 
  • As body water continues to decrease symptoms begin delirium, poor circulation and failing kidney function can occur.

We want everyone to stay safe especially during the summer, so please be sure to check on those you love and provide care for and keep them hydrated!