Water as Medicine
There is a Slovakian proverb that states “water is the world’s first and foremost medicine” and that couldn’t be more true. Staying properly hydrated can decrease and even eliminate certain afflictions of the body. But as we age, our bodies lose water. We feel thirst differently and we tend to drink less water, making dehydration a serious risk for seniors. Symptoms of dehydration in the elderly can be masked by other chronic illnesses or as side effects of certain medications.
In the summer months, it is more important than ever for seniors and all caregivers to recognize the symptoms of dehydration in the elderly. Some of these symptoms of dehydration in the elderly include cramping in limbs and headaches. Others include low blood pressure, dry mouth, fatigue, and dizziness. It is understandable to attribute these symptoms to other things, including the simple act of getting older. More severe symptoms of dehydration in the elderly can be rapid but weak pulse, bloated stomach, and convulsions. Dehydration is a common cause of senior hospitalization.
Therefore, recognizing that water is medicine and as important as any other pill in the pill case can prevent falls, increase energy, and limit hospital stays. Hydration and water consumption truly impacts every part of the body. Water carries oxygen to all the cells in the body; it aids digestion, and lubricates joints and regulates the body’s temperature. Water is so important in keeping our bodies healthy at every age.
Because of this, the common rule for water consumption is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. It can be hard for some seniors to imbibe that amount during the day, especially if they don’t feel thirsty. The best thing about water – it is found in food as well. Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, apples, bananas, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli are all water-rich foods that will help you stay hydrated. Including these foods into your diet will help with hydration.
Some tips for staying hydrated: don’t wait to feel thirsty to drink a glass of water. Sip throughout the day if it is difficult to drink large amounts of water in one sitting. Keep a tumbler, water bottle, or cup in a place that will remind you to hydrate. Set a reminder on your phone or a timer every few hours to take a drink. Put a list of water-rich foods and symptoms of dehydration in the elderly on the refrigerator door.
Of course, talking to a medical professional is the best way to learn how to hydrate your body in tandem with any medical conditions. If you or a senior loved one needs some extra help in the home to keep you at your best, call 2nd Family at 888-808-4FAM now. Our certified caregivers can help you stay hydrated and living the best life possible in the comfort of your own home. 2nd Family understands how hard it can be to ask for help for things that once were second nature. We pride ourselves on making that transition as easy as possible for our senior clients.
Have a safe and hydrated summer!
Check out the link below to read more about dehydration and how to recognize the symptoms and how dehydration affects the body at different ages.