Importance of Proper Hydration in the Elderly
You must have found many old elderly people complaining about constant headache and depression issues. This happens because of their loneliness as well as the reduced water levels in the body. Dehydration is a common problem in many aged people. Hence, it is necessary to maintain proper hydration in the elderly.
Many elderly people complain of headache and dizzy feeling due to dehydration. This occurs when body loses water by sweating excessively, no water intake for long time, excess urination, vomiting or loose motions. However, as the sense of feeling thirsty is decreased with aging, many of them forget to drink water at a regular intervals. Therefore, proper hydration in the elderly is necessary.
It is obvious that dehydration has some serious risks which increase the mortality rate, particularly more in the elderly. The dehydration condition may lead to many problems like cognitive function, hospitalization, kidney issues, and dryness in urine bladder, urine tract infection and many more. Therefore, proper hydration in elderly is very necessary to prevent fatal situations and agony.
Water is a kind of a therapy which has the power to heal several types of diseases and internal body immunity issues. In general, a human being should consume around 6 to 8 cups of water which is 250 ml each. Around 48 to 70 ounces of fluid should be taken in any form of liquid on a regular basis. The need for fluid intake may be more depending on individual activity levels, climate and lifestyle. Also, the need for proper hydration in the elderly increases when there is water loss in any form.
It is also important to know that proper hydration in the elderly may not last for long because of their weak immunity. Oily food or heavy meat products cause digestive problems and may result in watery stool. So whatever fluid was consumed while taking medicines or eating food is almost lost through the watery stool.
In such cases, to avoid dehydration in the elderly, they can take lemon juice with a pinch of salt and sugar, if required. It becomes an oral formula that soothes stomach and gradually stops the stool movement. Oral rehydration salt solution can also be given, if not contraindicated. Once loose motions are controlled through home remedy and medicines, juices, water and lemon water should be taken. This compensates and provide proper hydration in the elderly.
Tips to Maintain Hydration in the Elderly
Proper hydration in the elderly is possible in many ways. Drink at least 4 times 250 ml glass of water during the first phase of the day i.e. between 7 am to 12 am. After you complete your main course meal, drink one glass of luke warm water with little salt and lemon drops. This is very good to maintain hydration in elder people.
- Fruits and Veggies - Consume fruits and vegetables for natural hydration. Fruits, fresh fruit juices, vegetable juices, fruit infusion drinks or vegetable soups can be easily prepared at home. Citrus fruits, berries and melons have great water content in them. Also, veggies like tomatoes, cucumber and bottle guard are popular for proper hydration in the elderly.
- Fresh coconut water – Fresh coconut water contains the right amount of water content and is rich in minerals and essential nutrients. It can be easily taken to maintain proper hydration in the elderly. As it is rich in potassium, make sure that you have no such dietary restrictions.
- Sugarcane juice- This is a great remedy in summers when people are often hit by sun stroke and dehydration. Instead of dealing with medicines, it is beneficial to drink fresh sugarcane juice. However, diabetics may not be able to consume this. If proper hydration in the elderly is not possible through this method they can use water melon. Water melon or fresh water melon juice, without adding sugar is cool and has amazing taste while being safe for diabetic patients.
- Ice pops- You can also try out ice pops in different flavors to give a change to your taste buds. Ice pops can help to prevent a heat stroke. You can prepare ice pops using fresh fruits and natural flavors at home to provide proper hydration in the elderly. However, those having frequent colds and who need to restrict cold foods may have to avoid it.
Nevertheless, drinking plenty of water is the easiest way of proper hydration in the elderly. Having a good night’s sleep, taking a healthy diet and being physically active also helps to keep your system healthy. Make sure you take the prescribed medicines on time and report any changes or undesirable symptoms to your physician at the earliest.