As summer approaches and the weather begins to turn warm, you tend to spend more time outdoors. It’s fun to work in the garden or sit in the fresh air. When you come in, you head to the fridge for a refreshing glass of ice-cold water.
Yet, as you age, that sense of thirst decreases. You may not realize that you need to replenish your body with water. For this reason, many older adults don’t drink enough liquids.
When dehydration persists, it can cause difficulty in walking. It can even lead to severe symptoms. Seniors can end up in the hospital due to dizziness, heatstroke, or even a rapid heart rate.
Why do older people in particular need to stay hydrated?
Hydration is imperative because water helps to lubricate joints. It regulates body temperature and pumps blood to the muscles. Intake of water helps balance the electrolytes and keeps blood volume normal. If your elderly loved one becomes dehydrated, there is an added risk of mental confusion.
Even mild dehydration can increase feelings of tiredness. It also affects memory, attention, and reaction time.
Staying well hydrated has many benefits for seniors.
1. It improves brain function
Several studies have demonstrated that seniors who drink ample water have healthier minds. Our cognitive abilities can often slow down with age. Even mild dehydration prevents the brain from functioning to its full potential.
A lack of water can heighten symptoms of dementia and cause mental fatigue.
2. It boosts digestive health
Seniors who suffer from constipation or bowel discomfort should drink plenty of water. Dehydration causes hard stools, abdominal pain, and cramps.
When you remain hydrated, it also helps to keep the kidneys functioning.
3. It boosts your mood
When older people stay hydrated, it maintains their general wellbeing. Those who drink more water have fewer mood swings and sleep better than those who don’t.
Improved hydration can bring a sense of well-being and comfort and a better quality of life.
4. It prevents illness
Water helps digestion and distributes the nutrients we need through our bodies. Drinking enough fluids helps to eliminate waste from the body. It also regulates our temperature through perspiration and maintains blood pressure levels.
This keeps our immune system strong and improves our ability to fight off illness.
5. Healthier skin
In old age, the skin becomes thinner and dries out. Older people, who are not mobile, can suffer painful skin tears or pressure sores.
Adequate hydration will help their skin to maintain its elasticity and keep it soft and healthy.
Hydration is key to the care of the elderly. It brings innumerable benefits to their mental and physical health.
Help your loved ones remain hydrated through the summer months. This will make them feel and look better, so do your best to encourage them to drink more fluids.
Prevent dehydration. Make a difference in the health and quality of life of the senior members of your family.