Houston, Texas, area residents in charge of the health of a senior know to worry about essential care services like managing medication. However, one thing they may not think to focus on is preventing dehydration in the elderly. It may not seem like a big concern, but dehydration prevention is an important part of effective senior health care, especially as the weather heats up. IPR Healthcare understands that caregivers want to ensure their loved one is healthy during the warmer months, so we’ve listed some tips to help you learn how to prevent dehydration:
Preventing Dehydration in the Elderly:
Dehydration is of greater concern in seniors, as the sense of thirst becomes less acute with age. If your loved one only drinks water when they are thirsty, it can actually lead to dehydration. Seniors may also become dehydrated due to:
- Reduction in kidney function
When combined with the Texas weather, these factors make seniors more prone to dehydration. However, there are some simple steps that can be taken to prevent this problem:
- Increasing Water Intake
Regularly offer small amounts of water to ensure that your loved one is not only drinking when they feel thirsty. To provide variety in the beverages they are drinking, fruit can be added to flavor the water. When not at home, seniors needing wheelchairs can have cupholders installed on the chair to always have water available.
- Keeping a Check on Weight
Keeping an eye on a senior’s weight can be an important factor in preventing dehydration. Caregivers should check their loved one’s weight every morning to ensure the senior is in overall good health and monitor any decrease in weight. Just two pounds of weight loss accompanied by complaints like headaches can alert you to the onset of dehydration, allowing you to help the senior rehydrate before severe symptoms appear. However, if the drop in weight is 4% less than the previous day’s weigh-in, it’s best to call one of our licensed caregivers.
- Avoiding Diuretics
A number of drinks cause diuresis. Most often, these are the drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine, like coffee or tea. Be mindful of the beverages your loved one is drinking, especially if they will be out in the warm weather. Caffeinated drinks should only be consumed in moderation, with water being the main focus.
- Working Around Incontinence Issues
Accidents become frequent in seniors, as the pelvic muscles weaken. Because of this, seniors may reduce their liquid intake out of fear of incontinence. Prevent dehydration by ensuring that most of their fluid is consumed during the earlier part of the day. Incontinence undergarments can also be encouraged. This reduces the likelihood of an accident for your loved one and will make them more willing to consume needed fluids.
Keeping track of potential health concerns is essential for those in charge of a loved one’s care. Dehydration prevention plays a large role in senior health. For those needing assistance with home health care in the Houston, Texas, area, call us at (713) 592-6776 or visit us at https://iprhealthcare.com/contact-us/.