Experts estimate that 75 percent of people throughout the United States are living with chronic dehydration. This is a particular risk for elderly adults, who do not have as high of water content in their body and may not be able to properly interpret thirst signals. This can be a very dangerous condition that can have a serious negative impact on their health and well-being. Dehydration can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, foggy headedness, confusion, irritability, rapid heartbeat, and more. If left unmanaged, it can cause lingering health problems and even death. As a family caregiver you can make a tremendous difference in your parent’s ongoing hydration by giving them suggestions and reminders to help them stay hydrated throughout the day.
Use these tips to help your parent stay hydrated regularly:
• Reduce caffeine intake. Though there have been studies to show that there are some benefits to consuming a small amount of caffeine daily, if your senior consumes a considerable amount, it might contribute to dehydration. Reduce caffeine intake or compensate for every caffeinated beverage with extra non-caffeinated fluid to counteract this effect.
• Have a water bottle nearby. Invest in a good quality reusable water bottle for your senior and encourage them to keep it filled and nearby at all times. This will help them to remember to take sips throughout the day, increasing their average intake.
• Go for fruit. Drinking water is not the only way for your parent to get the hydration that they need. Encourage them to eat fruit that is high in water content, such as watermelon. This can be particularly beneficial for those who do not particularly enjoy water or have difficulty interpreting thirst signals. Similarly, encourage them to eat other foods that are high in water, such as soup.
If you have found that your aging loved one’s challenges and limitations are more than you feel that you can handle effectively, your abilities or availability has changed, or you simply feel that your loved one would benefit from more diversification of support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A home care provider can step in to fill any care gaps that might exist and ensure that your loved one is getting everything that they need on a schedule that is customized not just to their needs, but also to your needs as their family caregiver. This can help your elderly parent pursue the active, engaged, safe, healthy, and fulfilling quality of life that they desire and deserve, while also easing your caregiver stress and promoting more independence as your senior ages in place. When it comes to helping your senior to maintain better health with ongoing hydration, this care provider can be extremely supportive. This provider can help your parent understand their need for hydration, monitor your parent for symptoms of dehydration, and help them to make good choices that will remind them to get the hydration they need regularly, such as encouraging them to sip water throughout the day.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.