As much as we all enjoy the fun that summer brings, it’s not all fun and games as it can also bring about a lot of problems especially to your elderly loved ones. One of the things caregivers or loved one providing care to their elderly should look out for is senior dehydration.
Senior dehydration is one of the common summer-related ailments that could lead to even bigger problems if left unattended or unaddressed by caregivers. Dehydration is caused by several factors, including age, certain medications, a diminished urge in thirst where it leads to fewer consumption of fluids, heat waves and health conditions just to name some. Often times, dehydration would lead to other ailments such as low blood pressure or urinary tract infections (UTI). However, this can be prevented with proper hydration.
Here are some ways where you can help hydrate your senior loved ones.
1. Encourage your seniors to drink fluids on a regular basis. As mentioned, when one grows older, one feels less thirst urges and this can prove to be fatal for seniors hence it is the job of the caregiver to always remind their seniors to have a drink of water every now and then so that they do not end up being dehydrated. To make things easier, always keep a cooler and water bottles nearby.
2. Offer water whenever they would drink medications. Another reason why seniors are often dehydrated is because of their medications therefore always offer a glass of water whenever they take their medications. In addition to this, always keep medications cool and dry as warm weather may cause changes and effects of certain medications. Always seek the help of the local pharmacist if ever one needs help when it comes to storage instructions.
3. Always wear loose and cool clothing. It’s not always about drinking water, wearing the right clothes can also help with keeping your seniors cool in hot weather. Also wearing loose and cool clothes won’t let them sweat too much thus this will not lead to losing body water through sweating. Clothes made out of light cotton are best examples for summer clothing.
4. Don’t do any heavy activities during the day, especially in the outdoors. Sweating during the day is a main contributor to dehydration, especially when you sweat through strenuous activities. Though exercising is a must, it is best to go on your morning walks in the early hours or in late evening where it is already cool. If not, you can always find alternative ways to get your elderly their much needed exercise without exposing them to the heat of the sun. Also, when outside, always make sure to stay under the shade and avoid staying under the sun for too long. In addition to that, it is also beneficial if you could have your elderly stay in well-ventilated areas or in shady places where there is ample cool air to keep them cool throughout the day.
5. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible. Whether you believe it or not alcohol and caffeine, do dehydrate the body. Coffee also promotes sweating, which is something one should avoid in humid weather. Instead of taking coffee or alcohol, settle for juice, water or other refreshing beverages that would help restore your bodily fluids.