01 Aug 8 tips to keep the elderly hydrated this summer
The Great British Summer is here and we’ve already seen some glorious weather. It’s more important than ever to stay hydrated. We’re quick to water our plants in the summer months, but what about ourselves? Keeping fluids up is essential at this time of year and there are many health benefits of drinking enough water including, clear thinking, good reactions and improved digestion. Discover more benefits of drinking enough water here.
For the elderly, preventing dehydration is important because it can cause serious health issues and is often a common cause of hospitalization in people over the age of 65. Being properly hydrated is also needed for certain medications to work. As we age, it can be more difficult to stay hydrated, as our bodies retain less water, and the signs of dehydration are also often milder, meaning we may not feel thirsty until we are significantly dehydrated. Combined with the benefits of drinking the recommended amount of water each day, hydration is a key part of elderly care.
If you are wondering how much you should be drinking each day, try this simple sum:
Calculate your weight in kg x 0.035 as the amount you’re aiming for each day.
e.g. 70kg x 0.035 = 2.45 litres.
(If your calculation shows over 4 litres, you don’t need to drink more than this).
Here are our top tips to help keep your elderly relatives well hydrated this summer:
- Avoid getting thirsty by keeping nice fresh water on hand – you can keep bottles of water in the fridge if you like your water chilled. If you are looking after an elderly relative, ensure they have a lightweight jug and cup near their favourite seat to make it quick and convenient to get a drink.
- By the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated, so remember to drink little and often throughout the day. This is particularly important for the elderly. There are lots of handy refillable drinks bottles which remind you how much you should be drinking and when.
- Avoid alcohol and don’t consume too many caffeinated drinks in the heat – they actually increase dehydration.
- Remember there are many sources of fluids. People don’t just have to drink water to stay hydrated. Herbal teas, fruit juice and squashes can all help keep you hydrated.
- Experiment with different temperatures – some people like ice cold water from the fridge, whilst others may prefer to drink hot water perhaps with a slice of lemon.
- Make ice lollies. Ice lollies made from fruit juice or a mixture of squash and water are a lovely, cooling treat and a good way to get fluids into your body.
- Make sure there are enough fruit and vegetables in your diet, as these contain water. Cucumber, watermelon and tomatoes are especially good options
- Help your loved one build hydration into different parts of their day. Encourage them to have something to drink with every meal, for example. They should also be drinking water before and after any gentle exercise.
Above all, enjoy this lovely weather, but remember to keep hydrated. What are your tips for keeping your water intake up each day? We’d love to hear from you!