Are you hydrated or dehydrated? For those of you over the age of 65 dehydration affects 20% to 30% of you and can have devastating results.
A good basis to determine the correct amount for the average elder is to drink one third of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you would intake 50 ounces or 6 cups of fluids.
It is essential that you think about the importance of hydration, especially as you age. WebMD recommends that if you are elderly you should drink 6-8 cups of fluids a day. If you are incontinent more fluids are needed.
What are signs of dehydration?
Thirsty – this is especially hard for those with dementia or stroke
Lower % of body water – as we age our body weight is less than younger adults
Impaired renal function – hormones do not respond as well
Medications – some medications can lead to dehydration, like laxatives and diuretics
Visual signs of dehydration include:
Dry mouth, tongue, lips
Sunken eyes, papery skin
Unusually drowsy or confused
The good news is that you can up your fluid intake in different ways.
Water (of course) – but add some oranges or lemons for flavor
Sports drinks – ones with no artificial additives and low in sugar
Soups, broths and stews
Fruits like cucumber, celery, strawberries, grapefruit, spinach and watermelon
Tea and coffee – up to 4 cups a day
Private Home Health Care encourages you to keep a glass of water by your side at home and a water bottle when you travel for good hydration! Bottoms up!