If you’ve never experienced dehydration, count yourself lucky. To many people, dehydration is something that is mildly uncomfortable and unpleasant, but isn’t a big deal. After all, you just have to drink some water and you’re all better, right? Well, not exactly. With dehydration can come a rush of dizziness, nausea, and panic as your body fights to regulate itself in the heat, and for the elderly, it can be significantly more difficult to reset when overheated and dehydrated.
There are many ways to help your senior loved one to stay hydrated in the blistering summer heat. Make sure they keep a glass or reusable water bottle nearby at all times so they can sip throughout the day. When possible, it is best to avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks. If your loved one is an avid coffee drinker, it is recommended that they drink at least two glasses of water for every cup of Joe they intake. Fruits and vegetables can also be very helpful in keeping your loved one hydrated in the dog days of summer. The fruits and vegetables that are high in water content are oranges, melons, tomatoes, cooked asparagus, raw bell peppers, grapefruit, cooked or raw broccoli, celery, lettuce, strawberries, and cucumbers, among many. When possible, it may be best for your loved one to drink fluids that contain electrolytes such as Gatorade to help fight dehydration.
Dehydration is a common condition that afflicts many seniors over the age of 65. Because the symptoms of dehydration are masked by the aging body, the signs and warnings are typically overlooked, which can lead to a very dangerous situation. One of the main reasons the elderly get dehydrated is because of their medication. With the various types of health conditions that develop in the senior years, it is not uncommon for an elderly loved one to be taking multiple medications. Medications that monitor and control health disease, hypertension, kidney disease, and liver disease are common diuretics. The need to increase fluid intake is often overlooked and can lead to dehydration in your loved one. One of the most important ways to avoid dehydration is to be educated about the medications your loved one is taking. The highly trained caregivers from Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara, 805-687-7777, are available to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of dehydration in your loved one.
Watching for signs of illness in an elderly loved one can be challenging. Some signs that a trained caregiver from Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara would watch for are confusion, problems with walking or falling, dizziness, headaches, dry or sticky mouth, sunken eyes, inability to sweat or produce tears, standing, constipation and reduced or darkened urine output. Sometimes a simple test of pulling on skin on the back of the hand and seeing if it returns to normal in just a few seconds can help to predict dehydration. The experienced caregiver will make sure your loved one doesn’t suffer from elderly dehydration, and make sure they consume an adequate amount of fluids during the day; eats healthy, high water content foods such as fruits, vegetables and soups; checks that urine color is light and output adequate. Having reusable water bottles near your loved one at all times will help your loved one to drink when they are not thirsty. You and your family can count on the highly trained services of Senior Helpers of Santa Barbara to help your loved one stay safe and hydrated during the hot summer months in all areas of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Ynez, and Carpinteria, California.