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Staying hydrated in the warmer weather…

November 2, 2017 Elderly woman rehydrated, drinking water

Staying hydrated in summer

Staying hydrated, especially as it becomes warmer, is important for everyone. Insufficient consumption of fluids, especially water, can result in headaches, lethargy, urinary tract infections, kidney failure, digestive troubles, hallucinations and poor blood circulation.

But, did you know that the elderly population is at greater risk of dehydration? As our bodies age, our thirst-response mechanism declines. Exacerbating the problem is that some older people may take medications that act like diuretics, contributing to a greater fluid loss. In addition, elderly people may have limited mobility or may no longer be able to reach or hold a glass or cup or simply be unwilling to drink as they’ll be needing to use the bathroom more frequently.

Australian scientists working with the University of Texas researchers identified that a region of the brain – the mid cingulate cortex – is responsible for co-ordinating signals of thirst, such as a dry mouth, and found that it malfunctioned in elderly people. As a result, seniors are then more likely to underestimate their level of dehydration.

What are the warning signs of dehydration?

It’s important to look out for:
  • leg cramps
  • fatigue
  • a rough, dry or coated tongue
  • fever
  • weight loss
  • restlessness and
  • agitation.

How to prevent dehydration

And, what can elderly people do to prevent dehydration? Aside from drinking more water throughout the day to achieve proper hydration, there are fruits and vegetables that can provide increased water content. The following fruits and vegetables can increase your hydration:

  • oranges
  • celery
  • carrots
  • watermelon

Soups, broths, herbal teas and flavoured water are also good sources of hydration.

According to familydoctor.org, if you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If it is dark yellow or amber-coloured, it’s a sign of dehydration.

Drink water six times a day

Aim to drink at least six times a day, and more in warmer weather. Tea, coffee, mineral water, soda water and reduced fat milk can all count towards your fluid intake during the day, but water is always best.

About Oxley Home Care:

Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family-owned Sydney business and an Approved Government Provider for aged care services, specialising in Dementia Care.

Oxley Home Care provides Dementia CarePrivate CareHome CareNursing and Allied Health to enable people to live a quality life independently in their own home and stay connected to their local community.

To find out more about getting the right support and care for you or a family member, contact Oxley Home Care:

Call Us: 1800 221 039

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