Did you know that adults age 65 and up have the highest hospital admission rates for dehydration? A UCLA study found that 40% of seniors may be chronically under-hydrated. Why is dehydration such a problem for seniors? There are several factors, such as: a decreased sense of thirst, medications, mobility issues, and cognitive impairment.
Dehydration can cause serious health issues, and to make it even more challenging, the symptoms of dehydration can be difficult to recognize. Signs to look for include: dry skin or loss of elasticity, dizziness, less frequent urination, dark-colored urine, and fatigue. Severe dehydration signs are even scarier, and can include confusion, rapid breathing and heartbeat, difficulty walking, and severe cramping.
As the temperature in Texas soars to triple digits, it’s important to pay close attention to your water intake and make an effort to stay hydrated. Preventing dehydration is key. Check out the following seven tips to help you stay hydrated this summer.
1. Drink up! Water is best, but if you don’t like water, you can always add flavoring or fruit to it. A slice of lemon, orange, strawberries, or all three together make for a refreshing beverage. Coffee, tea, and fruit juice also contain water.
2. Keep water close by all day—out of sight, out of mind. This is especially important if you have mobility issues. You may want to keep a pitcher or jug nearby if getting around is difficult.
3. Make it fun by purchasing a special mug—maybe one with your favorite sports team on it or a funny saying. If you have arthritis, tremors, or any issues with holding a cup, there are several options available that are designed specifically with you in mind.
4. Consume foods with high water content. Did you know that the water content of a cucumber is 96%?! Other options include tomato, watermelon, bell pepper, grapes, cantaloupe, blueberries, and apples.
5. Popsicles! You can make your own from fruit juice or a juice/water mix.
6. Make smoothies (add high water content fruits and veggies), milkshakes, and Ensure.
7. If you get busy and don’t think about drinking water, set a timer on your phone to remind you.
For more tips on staying hydrated, visit www.loriwilliams-seniorservices.com.
Lori Williams is the owner of Lori Williams-Senior Services, LLC and the host of the podcast Aging in Style with Lori Williams. For help with senior housing and services, contact Lori at 214-783-1222 or www.loriwilliams-seniorservices.com.