Hydrate for Health​


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Most of us should be drinking more water, and we know it. The general rule is that everyone should drink about 64 ounces, or two quarts, of water a day but some experts caution that there is no magic number – we should all just be drinking more.

For seniors, dehydration is serious business. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of hospitalization for people over 65, and can even lead to death. Here are some easy ways to tell if an older person is dehydrated:

  • They show signs of confusion
  • They complain of dizziness or a headache
  • They have trouble walking
  • Their eyes look sunken
  • Their skin looks papery and they complain of dry mouth
  • They are having trouble producing urine and/or they are constipated
  • Their heart is racing
  • When you push back on the skin on the back of their hand, it doesn't ease back into place immediately

A diet of fruits and vegetables can comprise some of the RDA of water, but here are some other tips to avoid dehydration:

  • Each morning, fill up two quarts of water and put them in the fridge, then drink from them throughout the day. It isn't bedtime until all the water is gone.
  • For those who don't enjoy the taste of water, adding a sugar-free flavor powder such as Mio or Crystal Light can help a lot.
     
  • Coffee, tea and even beer can account for a serving or two of your daily water intake but avoid relying on them too heavily. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics so if you drink too much, you'll actually lose water.
     
  • Make popsicles with a mix of fruit juice and water. It will feel like a treat, and offer up a few ounces.

  • Milk is actually a great hydrator. In fact, one study found that full and skim milk, orange juice and Pedialyte are even better for hydration than water. So incorporating more of these liquids into your routine can be a big boon.

For more information about the care and well-being of older adults, please contact us!

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