If you’ve read articles related to health, diet, and nutrition, you’ve probably seen advice given that you should drink 64 ounces of water every day for optimal health. It was widely accepted for years but has come under increased scrutiny lately.

It’s come into question that someone who weighs 300 pounds and someone weighing 100 pounds should require the same amount of water every day, or that someone who vigorously exercises 45 minutes per day and someone who is a couch potato both need 64 ounces of water daily.

And, let’s not forget climate. Does a senior living in a hot, dry desert region like Arizona or New Mexico need to drink more water than someone living up high in a mountainous region like the Rockies or Adirondacks?

Opinions and theories on how much water is the right amount for seniors vary, but it’s unanimous that dehydration is a serious health risk as we get older.

Signs a Senior May be Dehydrated

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several signs to detect dehydration in older adults:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Confusion
  • Dark Colored Urine
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Less Frequent Urination
  • Constipation (proper colon function and gut motility require water)

If these sound like common occurrences for either you or a loved one, you might want to look into increasing your water intake But, check with your doctor first, as drinking too much water can also be a problem.

One of the most significant risks of dehydration among seniors is that many of the symptoms go unnoticed. This is either because they are hard to recognize or because patients with dementia can have difficulty communicating what they’re experiencing with their bodies.

How to Prevent Dehydration

Fortunately, preventing dehydration isn’t difficult to do. Here are some things you  or your senior loved one can do to stay hydrated and stay healthy:

  • Limit caffeine intake
  • Avoid sugary drinks, like soft drinks
  • Avoid excessive heat or sun
  • Take water with you wherever you go
  • Limit alcohol consumption

It’s also important to note that water isn’t the only liquid that combats dehydration. Other good sources of hydration include:

  • Skim milk
  • Strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon (most fruits, in general, have super high water content)
  • Popsicles
  • Broths and soups
  • Yogurt
  • Lettuce, celery, and tomatoes (just like fruits, most veggies have remarkable water content)
  • Flavor additives for water

If you’re a family caregiver and are concerned about your loved one’s fluid intake, here are three approaches that will make a difference:

  1. Offer a beverage the senior person enjoys. Some people just aren’t big fans of water.
  2. Offer small-moderate quantities of the beverage, on a schedule.
  3. Address any urinary incontinence concerns.

The professional caregivers at Seniors Prefer Homecare are committed to the health and well-being of seniors in and around Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, which includes making sure they are kept well-hydrated throughout the day.

Whether you need us a couple of hours a week or around the clock, we’re here for you. Call us today at (866) 983-5746 and schedule your free in-home consultation.