Dehydration is DANGEROUS -- no matter your age -- but today’s seniors are at an even greater risk for dehydration than others.
A recent UCLA School of Nursing study shows that these conditions are likely to be under-recognized. The study goes on to say it is estimated that up to 40 percent of community-dwelling elderly people may be chronically underhydrated, which can lead to more severe dehydration and ultimately life-threatening infections and other health problems. In surveying study participants, Mentes’ team also found that significant psychological barriers, including a fear of overnight incontinence, were one of the biggest reasons for early morning osmolality changes.
“So many health issues are related to inadequate hydration,” Mentes said. “The most closely linked are urinary tract infections. Many seniors are underhydrated for a period of time, and when they are exposed to a virus or bacteria they are more likely to develop an infection, such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia or other respiratory diseases. And they will be treated for the infection, but the underlying underhydration will not be recognized. Thus, an opportunity to educate the individual about adequate fluid intake is missed.” She added that underhydration in the morning can result in falls.
The Cleveland Clinic states that Seniors are at greater risk for DEHYDRATION because of how body composition changes with age.
And because older adults experience a reduction in thirst sense, they’re already DEHYDRATED by the time they feel thirsty.
How much water do seniors need?
For most people, a general rule of thumb for how much water to drink each day is to take one-third of the person’s body weight in pounds and drink that number of ounces of water.
For example, a 180-pound person would need 60 ounces of water daily, which is about five 12-ounce glasses of water.
Of course, if the weather is very hot or dry, they’d need to compensate by drinking more water than usual.
However, because each older adult has different health conditions and therefore takes different medications, it’s important to talk with their doctor to find out how much water is best for their body.
Benefits of drinking enough water
Aside from avoiding serious health problems, staying well hydrated has its benefits too.
Drinking enough water means:
6 IDEAS TO GET SENIORS TO DRINK MORE WATER
People don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, low fat milk, sugar-free drinks, fruits, and vegetables all contain water. While tea and coffee have a mild diuretic effect, the fluid loss caused by this is much less than the amount of fluid consumed in the drink. So, tea and coffee still count towards your fluid intake.
You may have to experiment to find out whether your senior prefers hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. To find out, try different things like making decaf iced coffee, warming up juices, or even adding plain soda water to make tea or juice bubbly.
Those who like savory foods may enjoy drinking hot soup broth instead of a sweet or neutral tasting beverage.
Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great treat and a great way to get more fluids into your older adult.
Some stubborn older adults can tend to resist drinking fluids. Even if they’re not the healthiest choices, you could try enticing them with smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, or sports drinks.
We’ve saved the best for last. Why? Because making it easy for seniors to serve themselves encourages them to drink more water.
Updating your senior living community with Nasoni fountain faucets can help SIMULTANEOUSLY SOLVE DEHYDRATION and ORAL HYGIENE PROBLEMS, while also helping you stand out against competitors.
Simply rotate the fountain lever to CREATE the perfect water fountain to:
And, every time the patented fountain feature is used, it saves water -- benefitting the planet. Pair one with our N.S.F. certified, under-sink bathroom water filter for the ultimate EXPERIENCE.
Have a parent currently in a senior living facility, or moving into one?
And before we close, do you have a parent living in senior living, or moving into one? Most professional caregivers are remarkable people, but many don't realize the issues involved with dehydration. Ask your senior living facility representative if you can buy a Nasoni bathroom fountain faucet and have them install it for your loved one if they don't have them yet. It's one of the best ways you can help your loved one stay hydrated, and it will make their daily life that much easier.
Contact Nasoni to stand out from the crowd today!
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