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The Weather is Getting Warmer! Avoiding Dehydration in Older Adults

Elder Care in Green OH

According to the Journal of the National Medical Association, dehydration is common in older adults.  The risk of dehydration increases as the weather gets warmer. Fortunately, a few conscious changes in diet and beverage Elder Care in Green OHselection can reduce the risk of dehydration in your aging adult.

Symptoms

When receiving elder care, your loved one should be monitored for signs of dehydration. These include:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Heart or Kidney failure

Risks

Your elder care program needs to include adequate hydration for your aging adult. You cannot rely on your elderly loved one to let you know that he or she is thirsty, as perception of thirst changes with age. Plus, the total concentration of water in the body decreases with age, as does the body’s ability to properly filter the water through the kidneys. If your loved one takes cardiac or blood pressure medications, as well as others, he also may be more at risk for dehydration. Your loved ones body temperature may be lower than it was a decade ago, which can also alter his perception of what he needs to drink. In addition, the warmer weather causes individuals to sweat more, thus increasing water loss. It is important to have a set diet and beverage menu in place so your loved one knows how much to drink.

Complications

Dehydration can lead to more than just thirst and confusion. If left unchecked by caregivers, dehydration in your older adult disturbs the electrolyte balance in the body. This can lead to changes in the sodium and potassium levels in the cells which alter heart rate, blood pressure and muscle contractions.

Causes

The following circumstances may cause dehydration:

  • Recent vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • High Protein diets or tube feedings- the body requires more water to process high protein foods.

Recommended Intake

The American Council on Exercise recommends that adult women consume 91 ounces of fluid a day and adult men consume 125 ounces a day.

Choices

Supply lots of water for your senior, but if he has difficulty drinking plain water, juice, smoothies, tea and lemonade may be easier to drink. Another option is soup, which contains a lot of liquid, and he may not realize your goal is to hydrate him! If beverages are not enough, encourage your senior to eat foods that have a high water content such as cucumbers, lettuce, celery, watermelon, strawberries and applesauce.

These small changes make a big different in the hydration level of your loved one and can avoid mental and physical difficulties. Speak with your caregiver to ensure that your loved one receives adequate hydration, especially during the warmer weather months.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional elder care service in Green, OH, call the caring staff at Rather Be Home Senior Care at (330) 915-4575 today!

Sources:
http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/173/healthy-hydration/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2625510/

Deidre Scott, Founder

Owner, Founder at Rather Be Home Senior Care
Deidre Scott is the founder of Rather Be Home and has always found her passion in the health and well-being of others. Shortly after receiving her bachelor's degree she worked for Bristol Myers-Squibb as a cardiovascular representative. Her specialties included blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. She then worked 15 years with Procter & Gamble where she educated Veterinarians on how nutrition could help nutritionally manage various disease states such as kidney failure, colitis and diabetes in cats and dogs. During that time she pursued her education further and received her MBA.

She founded Rather Be Home in 2014 after seeing the tribulations her friends were having with their aging parents. Hard decisions need to be made and no one knows where to go for help. Having lived with her grandparents most of her childhood and helping her grandma care for her grandpa it just seemed natural to open a home care business. Deidre is also a certified instructor for CPR/First Aid & AED through the American Red Cross and a State Tested Nurse Aide registered through the Ohio Department of Health. Currently she is undergoing classes to become a Certified Senior Advisor. She sets rigorous standards for her company as well as the caregivers she employs.