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Dehydration…A Big Risk for Seniors, And Not Just In the Summer

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By Lori Stevens, Certified Concierge Care Advisor

Seniors are at such a high risk of serious medical concerns that can arise with dehydration. Some of these signs can happen anytime of the year, not just in the summer. People often experience dizziness, confusion, fatigue, and other symptoms, but attribute it to something else.

As we age, our body’s thirst cues decrease, our body composition and metabolism changes, among many other things. Dehydration is no joke. It can happen almost overnight if you are not on top of it.

Not all liquids are hydrators. Coffee and tea, as well as most soda drinks are caffeinated, which can contribute to dehydration. There are several ways we cannot just drink more water, but also be attracted to drinking more water.

While touring at mini assisted living communities as well as adult family homes, I see water is an important part of the community. I typically see attractive large glass water carafes and containers throughout the buildings. The newest idea is to switch up how water is served. For instance, one day they may have cucumber and basil leaves in the water with ice, and the next you may see oranges and strawberries intermixed in the water. It’s a fun and tasty way to change how simple water may be presented.

Another idea to make water drinking a little bit more rewarding, is maybe purchase a nice stainless steel water container/bottle that will keep the water cold if that’s how you prefer to drink it. Or perhaps a nice new coffee mug that you can drink water out of. Some foods are also water plentiful. And when water gets too boring, these foods may help increase our water intake. A few of these foods are cucumbers, lettuce, celery, oranges, and melons.

Whatever your preference, try finding ways to make sure you get enough hydration. They say that several sips throughout the day produce better results than big glasses of water all in a minute or two. If you’re not drinking enough, change up the way you’re doing it to both enjoy it more and ensure that you don’t become dehydrated.  Make sure to always consult with your physician if you have any special medical concerns that should be considered prior to changing your water or fluid intake.

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