7 Hydration Tips for Seniors
Warmer weather is approaching and it's a good time to start thinking about hydration. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, which is a pretty big clue that liquids play a significant role in keeping us functioning well and feeling healthy.
Unfortunately the risk for dehydration tends to increase as people age, literature suggests that changes in mobility, congnition and physical limitations can change a person's ability to simply drink enough water. Seniors typically experience a reduced thirst sensation, not to mention that various medications can have similar impacts. These scenarios only result in greater fluid intake needs and it can feel like an uphill battle. We offer some tips to help you stay hydrated this summer:
- Encourage smaller volumes of liquids frequently and throughout the day.
- Keep water accessible in your car, at work or in your bag.
- Avoid drinking a large glass at one time - it can lead to gastric distention and this can quickly decrease the sensation of thirst.
- Pay attention to preferences such as temperature or flavouring.
- Make it fun and serve the drink with flair. Sometimes a beverage is more appealing in a delicate china teacup or sports mug.
- Focus on high water content snacks. Things like ice cream, sherbet, soup and jello all contribute to hydration and are typically well received by seniors. It may also work well to try homemade popsicles or other frozen treats using real fruit!
- Some fruits and vegetables can contain up to 90% of water and will be increasingly available during the summer: cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, celery, tomatoes, green peppers, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruits.
With a little planning, adequate hydration provides many health benefits. Water is a natural elixir, it regulates our body temperature, boosts our immune system, increases energy and promotes weight loss. It can also reduce pain in our joints and improve skin complexion. Everyday we can benefit from a health trend that is on budget and calorie free!
Jessica Stewart RD, BSc. | Baptist Housing Kelowna