3 Tips on Senior Hydration Needs and Approaches

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3 Tips on Senior Hydration Needs and Approaches

tips senior hydration approaches

Staying properly hydrated is important for people of all ages, but tends to take on some increased meaning for people in certain age ranges. Seniors and older adults in particular are often at a high need for proper hydration, and lack thereof can lead to more significant issues than at other ages in life.

At Cozy Retire, hydration and other basic health topics are important parts of our assisted living community programs for seniors in Kaysville, Layton, Ogden and nearby areas of Utah. Especially as we’re in the dead of the Utah summer right now, here are some basics on why senior hydration is important, plus how to recognize signs of dehydration in a senior loved one and what can be done to avoid these issues.

Why is Hydration so Vital for Seniors?

Firstly, let’s take a look at why hydration is so important in the first place, especially for seniors. The body is made up mostly of water — anywhere from 50 to 75 percent, depending on age and other factors — and it helps keep everything functioning right. Water helps with digestion, circulation, carries oxygen to cells, helps regulate temperature and more.

Without proper hydration, seniors can develop a variety of health issues. These range from being more susceptible to falling and feeling weak or dizzy, to organ damage over time. These are often more significant than they would be for people of younger ages, as the body’s natural ability to retain and regulate hydration weakens with age.

It’s also important to remember that seniors often don’t “feel” thirst in the same way they used to, making it easy for them to go without proper hydration and not even recognize it until more serious signs appear.

Spotting the Signs of Dehydration in a Senior Loved One

If you’re a family member or caregiver for a senior, there are some warning signs to look for that could indicate dehydration. These include:

  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Confusion
  • Sunken eyes
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Little to no urine output (or dark-colored urine)

What Can Be Done to Encourage Senior Hydration?

If a senior loved one is exhibiting any of the above signs, they should be taken to their physician right away. If none of these are present, but you still want to encourage proper hydration in an elderly relative or friend, here are some tips:

  • Encourage them to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • Limit their intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as these can actually act as diuretics that further dehydrate them.
  • Remind them to drink even if they don’t feel thirsty — thirst is not necessarily a reliable indicator for hydration levels in an elderly person.
  • Provide healthy snacks like fruit or vegetables that contain high amounts of water.

At Cozy Retire, proper hydration is part of our commitment to quality care for seniors in Kaysville, Layton, Ogden and other nearby areas of Utah. If you’re looking for an assisted living community for a senior relative or friend, please contact us for more information.

We’re here to help your loved one stay healthy and happy, even in the most extreme temperatures of an Ogden summer! Give us a call today.