The Importance of Hydration for Seniors

Summer days are here! As we spend an increasing amount of time soaking up the sun, whether it be relaxing on the beach or walking around the neighborhood, we have to be mindful and cautious of some of the effects spending time in the hot weather can bring. One consequence of too much time in the heat is dehydration.
Staying hydrated is important for overall health and to feel your best, no matter what your age – but staying hydrated becomes increasingly crucial as we grow older. Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Older adults are more likely to become dehydrated, whether it be from lack of thirst, an age-related decrease in particular body functions or age-related health conditions. One study found that, “Dehydration affects 20 percent to 30 percent of older adults,” and “has a greater negative outcome in this population than in younger adults.”

Keep reading to discover hydration tips and tricks in the summer for older adults.

How to Stay Hydrated: Tips and Tricks

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Of course, the greatest way to avoid dehydration is to ensure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Keep a water bottle on hand at all times to make this even easier for yourself. Although it’s been frequently said to drink eight glasses of water a day, you may need to drink more or less, depending on your body’s needs. Discuss with your healthcare provider what a reasonable amount of daily fluid consumption is for your particular situation. And remember to increase this amount when spending time in the sun.

Switch It Up: While water is an excellent choice to help you stay hydrated, you don’t need to stick to just one drink. This would feel limiting and make proper hydration more difficult than it needs to be. Include a variety of fluids in your diet, including milk, juice, flavored water or coffee. While almost any liquid counts towards your daily intake, alcohol can be dehydrating, so drink these beverages in moderation, especially when spending time in the heat.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables: While drinking fluids is the fastest way to hydrate your body, regularly eating produce can also help. Certain fruits and vegetables are fluid-rich and can improve your body’s hydration levels. The top 10 hydrating foods are:

  1. Cucumbers
  2. Watermelon
  3. Pineapple
  4. Celery
  5. Blueberries
  6. Lettuce
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Pears
  9. Grapefruit
  10. Cantaloupe

Stick to a Schedule: If getting enough water becomes difficult, try sticking to a routine when it comes to your water consumption. Put an alarm on your phone for every hour to remind yourself to drink. When it comes to mealtimes, pour yourself a cold glass of water to accompany your dish. There are even apps you can download to your smartphone that will help you keep track of your daily fluid intake.

Learn the Signs of Dehydration: Knowledge is one of the greatest tools at your disposal when it comes to preventing serious dehydration. By learning the signs of dehydration, you’ll be better able to recognize when it’s time to drink some water. Signs of dehydration for adults include:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

This being said, please keep in mind that symptoms can vary from person to person and sometimes thirst for older adults doesn’t occur until they’re already dehydrated. Listen to your body, and always remember to increase fluid intake during hotter days.

Discover Even More Health Tips at Ventana by Buckner

Health and wellness services at Ventana by Buckner are as exceptional as the community itself. Here at Dallas’ only high-rise senior living community, you can expect care of the highest caliber, delivered with compassion. You’ll also experience services that meet your social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Ventana puts your wellness first, and ensures you have the resources available to stay healthy, and have a fun time doing it.

Contact us today to learn more about vibrant senior living at Ventana.