Dehydration can easily become a health concern for older adults.
“Seniors need to stay on top of fluid intake, because medications and illness can contribute to dehydration,” says Heather Krieger, MS, RD, CD, Clinical Dietitian at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “Not staying hydrated can cause lethargy, confusion, irritability, and many physical, mental, and emotional issues.”
Although age, weight, diet, and medications factor into the guidelines, most adults need to consume several glasses of water every day. Here are some ways to increase intake:
- Keep water handy. Bottles in convenient locations make it easier for seniors to serve themselves. Encourage the habit of drinking a beverage with every meal.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Some foods that help people stay hydrated while providing important vitamins and minerals include berries, melons, cucumbers, celery, spinach, and tomatoes.
- Choose refreshing treats. Ice pops, gelatin desserts, and milkshakes are snacks that also replenish fluids.
- Vary the temperature. Depending on how a person feels, one option may appeal more than another. Warm broth soup or cool gazpacho? Hot tea or juice over ice?
- Make it fun. Sometimes, presentation makes all the difference. Try serving a smoothie in a soda fountain glass.
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