Senior Wellness Tips | Proper Hydration

Simple Daily Tips for Senior Wellness

There are many tips out there for daily living, however, some become more important as you age. This next series of blog posts outline some simple tips to keep implement into your daily life. 

Tip 1 – Proper Hydration

Why Is Proper Hydration Important for Seniors?

According to 2015 research published in the Journal of Gerontology Nursing between 20% and 30% of older adults are chronically dehydrated.

Older adults who are dehydrated are at a higher risk for developing infectious disease, stroke, kidney stones, chronic constipation and impaired cognitive function. Even mild hydration can contribute to confusion, fatigue, loss of strength, reduced coordination and decreased cognitive function. Combined, these symptoms can contribute to falls, accidents and injury.

Why Is Dehydration So Common in Seniors?

First of all thirst sensation decreases in adults over 65 and thirst levels are generally far lower than the body’s fluid needs. In addition, kidneys naturally lose some of their ability to conserve water and concentrate urine, resulting in fluid losses through urination. Muscles store large amounts of water and as muscle mass declines, the amount of water a body can store declines. Type 2 diabetes can increase urination, while urinary incontinence can cause seniors to reduce fluid intake. They become afraid of not making it to the bathroom and reduce their fluid intake. What's more, commonly used over-the-counter and prescription medication can for blood pressure, antihistamines and laxatives can to fluid losses as well.

What Can I Do to Improve Hydration?

  • Have water or a non-alcoholic drink of choice available throughout the day
  • Monitor daily fluid intake
  • Mix up the drinks and make them taste good, taking precautions if you are a diabetic
  • Mix electrolyte fluids in the water
  • Eat foods high in water
  • What creative ideas do you have?

How Can I Tell if I am Properly Hydrated?

The first thing is to check to color of urine. If you’re dehydrated, your urine will be a dark yellow. When you’re properly hydrated, it will range from light yellow to fully clear. This doesn’t mean that dark urine is always a warning sign. However, if your urine is consistently a dark shade of yellow (it can even be orange in some cases), you should increase your fluid intake without delay.

Right at Home caregivers help identify and correct poor hydration through

Through daily visits, telehealth and incorporating and monitoring fluid intake as part of our individualized care plans. We help seniors do a little better today than yesterday and over time the quality of their lives improve. Please let us know how we can help by contacting us at (614) 734-1110.

Join us for Simple Daily Step 2 – Nutrition Tips That You Might Not Expect 

How Can I Learn More About Hydration in Seniors?

What Older Adults Need to Know About Hydration

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/what-older-adults-need-to-know-about-hydration

The Urological Health Benefits of Drinking Water

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/for-better/articles/2018-10-25/the-urological-health-benefits-of-drinking-water

Hydration and outcome in older patients admitted to hospital (The HOOP prospective cohort study)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621229/

Dehydration in the Older Adult

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26375144/

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