5 hydration tips for seniors

Since the majority of the human body is made up of water, hydration is important for people of any age. As you get older, your mind and body become more susceptible to dehydration, leading to more serious conditions.

 

Learn more about why it’s important to stay hydrated as you get older, and how you can incorporate more fluids into your daily routine.

Why Hydration in the Elderly is Important

In seniors, it’s particularly important to stay hydrated in order to keep your mind and body functioning as well as possible. Here are a few reasons staying hydrated is crucial for your health:

 

  • Reduce thirst — As you get older, you may start to lose your sense of thirst, making it much easier to get dehydrated without knowing it. Keeping water nearby can help ensure you stay hydrated, even when you may not feel thirsty.
  • Maintain metabolism — Younger adults are able to regulate water balance within their bodies, while older adults may need to stay on top of their water intake in order to keep their metabolism in check.
  • Reinforce brain function — Since your brain is mostly made of water, and seniors’ mental processes tend to slow with age, staying hydrated can help ensure your brain is functioning as best as possible.
  • Improve digestion — If you begin to experience constipation or digestive discomfort as you age, incorporating more water into your daily routine may help!
  • Protect your kidneys — Seniors are more susceptible to kidney disease and disfunction. You can help your kidneys do their job by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Promote urinary health — It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience urinary incontinence. While you may be tempted to lessen your water intake, it can actually make the problem worse and cause infection. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when you aren’t thirsty.

Hydration Tips for the Elderly

If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

 

  • Have a beverage with every snack and meal. 
  • Choose beverages you enjoy; you're likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods. 
  • Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag. 
  • Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you're watching calories, go for noncaloric beverages or water.

Signs of Dehydration in Seniors

In seniors, signs of dehydration can often look similar to signs of senile dementia or Alzheimer’s. If you experience any of the following symptoms, make sure you have plenty of fluids and call your doctor right away:

 

  • Persistent fatigue 
  • Lethargy 
  • Muscle weakness or cramps 
  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea 
  • Forgetfulness 
  • Confusion 
  • Deep rapid breathing 
  • Increased heart rate
Less common symptoms can include:
  • Excessive loss of fluid through vomiting, urinating, stools or sweating 
  • Poor intake of fluids, “can’t keep anything down”
  • Sunken eyes 
  • Dry or sticky mucous membranes in the mouth 
  • Skin that lacks its normal elasticity and sags back into position slowly when pinched up into a fold 
  • Decreased or absent urine output 
  • Decreased tears
 
  1. https://www.homecareassistanceburlingtonvt.com/blog/benefits-of-water-for-seniors
  2. https://www.comfortkeepers.ca/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated-for-seniors-and-elders/
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Formerly known as Partners in Primary Care and Family Physicians Group, our new name CenterWell reflects our passion for improving the lives of seniors.  Our team is here and ready to help answer any questions you may have.