Hi this is Anthony Diaz from Rosa’s Chante Adult Care Home. Did you notice that in Tucson we broke the record this week? It was 108. Did you also know that as you age, you become more susceptible to dehydration for several reasons. The way your system works, your body’s ability to conserve water is reduced during the summer months. Your thirst sense becomes less acute, and you’re less able to respond to changes in temperature. With older adults they tend to eat less than younger people and may forget to eat or drink altogether. We need to be careful because dehydration can be compounded by chronic illnesses such as diabetes, dementia, and by the use of certain medications.
Combating elderly dehydration is a huge issue for the elderly. A recent University of Chicago Medical Center study found that 40% of heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people over 65. Dehydration has been associated with increased mortality rates among older adults and can accelerate or bring about emergency hospitalization and/or increase the risk of hospital stays. It is a frequent cause of hospitalization of older adults and one of the ten most frequent diagnoses responsible for hospitalization in the United States. Dehydration has been associated with many elderly health issues, including elderly confusion, impaired cognition, falling and constipation.
There are steps you can take to make sure the elderly are getting enough hydration. Fluid intake is key and try to keep water bottles available throughout the day wherever the senior is. Encourage flavored waters for a change and variety. There are a variety of ways you can flavor water, which can include adding fresh fruits and vegetables.
One great way to keep the body hydrated is through the foods we eat. Some of the top foods include, watermelon, which is 95 percent water and rich in vitamin C. Then there is cucumbers also 95 percent water and provides calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium which is great because potassium and sodium work together to maintain fluid levels in the body. Strawberries are 92 percent water and rich in potassium and Cantaloupe is 90 percent water and rich in potassium. Simple fruits and veggies can make a big difference when it comes down to keeping seniors well hydrated.