Did you know that as we age, the risk of dehydration increases? According to the National Library of Health, “dehydration is the most common fluid and electrolyte problem among the elderly.” Why? There could be a range of reasons.
Whether it’s kidneys not functioning properly, water retention, or a cognitive disease that makes it more difficult to remember to drink and swallow, hydration for seniors is important. Without proper hydration, older adults run the risk of developing urinary tract infections and becoming weak, dizzy, and exhausted, among other symptoms and health issues.
It’s our goal at Charter Senior Living to enhance the human spirit by reinventing the way we approach hydration with at-home caregivers and residents – especially in our Flourish℠ Memory Care program. Learn more about our program to prevent dehydration below, along with other tips for helping your loved one drink more water.
Tip #1: Incorporate foods with high water content.
Water intake is easier when you don’t really have to think about it. That’s why incorporating healthy, water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables into your loved one’s diet is key. Some of the most water-rich foods are cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, and celery.
Tip #2: Set a drinking schedule.
For those who aren’t able to drink by themselves, it’s important for caregivers to set reminders to drink water throughout the day. How much water is adequate? The National Council on Aging recommends taking one-third of body weight and drinking that number of ounces in fluids. For example, those who weigh 150 pounds should consume at least 50 fluid ounces (6.25 cups) per day.
Some water bottles even come with times and ounces written on them, so it’s always known how much more water needs to be consumed and when.
Tip #3: Take breaks from rigorous activity.
If you’re getting a breath of fresh air in warmer temperatures or helping your loved one through an activity that makes them sweat, take frequent breaks to drink water. The more someone sweats, the likelier they are to become dehydrated.
Tip #4: Pay attention to medications.
Some medications actually increase the risk of dehydration. Make note of what those medications are, and when taken, make sure your loved one is drinking at least one glass of water to ease their effects.
Tip #5: Make hydration fun!
Drinking plain water isn’t always exciting. Your loved one can stay healthy and quenched with fun drink experiences, like our Charter Senior Living hydration program: The Drink Bar.
We’re shaking up the way we address taste fatigue and dehydration. Together with Monin®, we’ve created hydration stations at our senior living communities that are stocked with vitamins and extra-flavorful ingredients to make fruit juice drinks, holiday-themed drinks, and other enticing options.
Each week, residents in FlourishSM Memory Care will have fun mixing and – more importantly – drinking new signature drink recipes. Hydration is vital to cognitive health, so by making hydration more engaging, we help residents and their families feel satisfied with innovative care. Residents in Assisted Living will get to enjoy these new drinks during mealtimes.
Quench your thirst for high-quality care at Charter Senior Living.
To learn more about The Drink Bar program and how we keep residents living at their best, please schedule a personal visit at one of our communities or contact us today.