Staying Hydrated during the summer
How to help our elderly relatives or neighbours avoid dehydration
Why is drinking water so important? staying hydrated
Water makes up half of our body weight and every cell, tissue and organ needs water to function correctly.
Now that the summer is here it is important to make sure we keep hydrated, this is important for everyone but is important that we make sure our elderly relatives avoid getting dehydration.
Dehydration is one of the most frequent cause of the elderly being admitting in to hospital. There are many reasons for this, firstly our thirst for water changes as we get older and our sense of thirst is less acute with age so our elderly relatives may not be drinking as much as they used to. Also our bodies are unable to conserve fluids as much as they could as our body ages. Secondly some medications can cause dehydration.
How to spot dehydration
Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and dark coloured urine. This is the body’s way of trying to increase water intake and decrease water loss. Other symptoms can include:
Dizziness or light-headedness
Headache, confusion or fatigue.
Loss of strength and stamina.
Water is the best way to keep hydrated. However if your elderly family member is not keen on drink
ing water try a little squash. Always make sure there is a drink available and within easy reach. Encourage relatives to drink or remind them if they haven’t had a drink for a while. Other ways to increase water intake is by giving them an ice lolly or eat fruit with a high water content. Not all fluids are as good at keeping you hydrated. Drinks with caffeine in, such as tea, coffee or alcohol work to remove water from your body so try to avoid these.
When the weather is hot please keep an eye on family members and help to prevent them from getting dehydrated.