They’re here! The dog days of summer. It’s that time of year when I remind you to hydrate. I apologize if I sound like a broken record, but it is worth repeating. Case in point, I recently heard from a friend whose 84-year-old mom ended up in the ER due to dehydration. Her kidneys started to swell, and she was in an extreme amount of pain. Her blood pressure was through the roof and she experienced hallucinations. Dramatic results of not hydrating properly.
What can we do to avoid dehydration? The easy answer is to increase water intake. Caring for many seniors over the years we know it isn’t always that easy. The extra trips to the bathroom really are worth it! Not a water drinker? Milk and orange juice count and may stay in the system longer than water. Try flavor drops, there are many all-natural versions on the market, making water a little tastier. (Sorry, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages don’t count!) Take advantage of summer produce. Watermelon has a high-water content, as do many fruits. Tomatoes, zucchini, and squash are great high-water veggies. Create a reminder system to make sure you have gotten your daily recommend intake.
How Much Should You Drink?
What is recommended? Consult with your doctor. Men and women have different needs, medications factor in, and individual requirements vary. As I mentioned last year, my own dad struggles with how much water is enough. Over the past year it has changed depending on his medications and health. One doctor put him on a water pill, another took him off. He still has occasional dizzy spells. Is he hydrating enough? Mom and I continue to encourage (all right, nag) him to drink more. It’s now part of his morning routine to make sure he has at least 32 ounces before he starts his day. Incorporate hydration into your routine. It will be worth it!
If you need help getting into routines with proper meals and hydration, please call us at Seniors Helping Seniors. We can help!
Printed in HSOBC Newsletter tucked in the August edition of Senior Scene Magazine