Staying hydrated is especially important for older adults. At East Ridge at Cutler Bay’s Three Palms Health Center, Lifestyle Director Patricia Naraindutt reminds residents to stay refreshed by adding hydration activities to the assisted living activity calendar as well as incorporating the use of hydration carts and hydration stations in key locations.
“We know that with age our body’s ability to conserve water is lower and by the time someone feels thirsty essential fluids could already be low,” she said. “Severe dehydration can cause seizures, kidney failure, heat injuries or even coma or death. There are many medical conditions and medications that also affect seniors’ ability to retain fluids. Our caregivers are trained to be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.”
Someone may have low blood pressure, rapid breathing, and heartbeat, weak pulse, cold hands when suffering from dehydration. Several early signs that one’s fluid intake needs to be increased include headache, constipation, muscle cramps, dry mouth and tongue, and sleepiness or lethargy. Urine color is another helpful indicator and should be clear or light yellow.
Everyone should drink 64 ounces a day. Here are a few tips to help you increase your fluids:
- The flavor of water can be enhanced with the infusion of fruit slices or diluted with juice. Oranges, lemons, kiwis, and berries are great water enhancers.
- Warm chicken, beef or vegetable broth is a soothing, savory option for fluids. Popsicles, milkshakes, and smoothies are all great snacks while adding fluids.
- Consider beverages at different temperatures. For example, hot tea is soothing while ice tea is refreshing. Also, cool water may be preferred to room temperature water.
- Consider interesting drinkware. Brightly colored cups thermal mugs and cups are inviting and easier to grip.
- People think of water as their go-to for hydration but raw fruits and vegetables can be hydrating alternatives as well. Cut vegetables like celery sticks, cucumber, and bell pepper slices can be a nutritious snack and are filled with fluid. Fruits like watermelon, grapes, and cantaloupes are good too.
According to WebMD Weight Loss Clinic Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD., “Water is non-caloric, it plumps up your skin, and it hydrates your muscles. Water is the staff of life, and now it’s everywhere. It’s very socially acceptable to walk around with water bottles.”
To learn more about the assisted living at East Ridge and the Three Palms Health Center with services and accommodations for memory care and skilled nursing, please call 305.256.3564 for a tour.