6 Tips to Help Your Elderly Loved One Get More Hydrating Fluids

Keeping your elderly loved one hydrated is one of your most important tasks as a family caregiver. That isn’t always as easy as it should be, though, and it’s more complicated than just encouraging your loved one to drink more water. You might have to use some creative solutions to help your loved one avoid dehydration.

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Cut Back on the Sugary Drink Options

Soda, sweet tea, and even some fruit juices might taste good, but they’re not the hydrating fluids that your elderly loved one needs most. That doesn’t mean that your loved one can never have these types of beverages again, but it’s good to limit them. Another option is to look for versions that have less added sugar.

Juice Whole Fruits and Vegetables

At Trusted Touch Healthcare, we know one way to get the benefits of fruit and vegetable juices without too much added sugar is to juice them yourself. You can do this in your blender or you can use a juicer. Look for recipes that combine fruits and vegetables in pleasing ways so that you can get more of the nutritious but maybe not as appealing choices into your loved one’s diet.

Bring Back the Soup Course

Broth-based soups are an excellent way for your loved one to get more hydration with every meal. Your loved one might enjoy vegetable soup or even just a low-sodium broth. Experiment with different recipes that your loved one might find enjoyable until you find the combination that she likes the best. Eating the same soup all the time can get old, so try to rotate the recipes amongst your loved one’s favorites.

Start Serving Herbal Teas

Herbal teas don’t have caffeine and they often contain other benefits. Green tea in particular is full of antioxidants. Another benefit of choosing herbal teas is that they often don’t need sweeteners added to them in order to make them palatable. Try using honey or stevia if your loved one does still need a bit of extra sweetness, though. We recently completed another blog one the best Senior M care products that you may enjoy.

Keep Water Close By

Another way to help your elderly loved one get enough hydrating fluids is to keep water close by at all times. All of us forget to drink enough water from time to time. An excellent way to avoid this is to have a pitcher of water and a cup near their favorite chair so that it’s convenient and quick for them to drink a glass of water. Having water within arm’s reach will stimulate them to drink enough to stay properly hydrated.

Don’t Forget about Hydrating Foods

Besides beverages and soups, you should also include hydrating foods in your senior’s diet. For example, you can serve cucumber slices, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, and similar, either as a side dish or as a healthy snack. To make them tastier, serve these veggies with a dressing or hummus for dipping. Raw fruits are also an excellent source of fluids, especially watermelon, grapes, oranges, and blueberries. If your loved one has an aversion to fruits, you can add them to a dessert, yogurt, cereal, or similar. Maybe this doesn’t seem much, but every little bit adds up. Serving fruits and veggies daily will help prevent dehydration without changing the amount of liquid your loved one drinks.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

You need to know what the warning signs of dehydration are so you can take action when needed. Of course, you should keep an eye on your elderly loved one, observe their fluid intake, and try to increase the consumption of fluids. However, the risk of dehydration is always present, no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Some of the most common symptoms of dehydration include

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sleepiness
  • Amber-colored urine

Seniors and the Risk of Dehydration

Although anyone is affected by dehydration, seniors are at a higher risk because of various factors. Their sense of thirst may be diminished, which causes them to put off drinking fluids. They are simply not aware their bodies need fluids until they are already dehydrated. Also, some seniors have problems with incontinence and may refuse to drink water because of this. Another cause of dehydration can be medications. The elderly take various medications, and some of them can cause increased sweating, force seniors to use the bathroom more often, and similar. These things result in losing bodily fluids, which leads to dehydration. Because of all these factors, seniors are at a higher risk of dehydration compared to younger people.

Your loved one’s elderly care providers can give you other tips for keeping your loved one hydrated, too. This can be especially helpful if your loved one doesn’t enjoy drinking more water.

If you or a loved one are considering in-home elderly care in Gaithersburg, MD, or have a family member looking for McLean home health nursing to help with memory loss issues, please contact the staff at Trusted Touch Healthcare today. We make seniors’ lives better! Call today (301) 272-5140.