November 19 2020 ■ Tips
5 tips to help seniors drink more water
When you visit your senior family members, do you notice that they don't feel thirsty as often as you do, even on a hot summer’s day? You may notice that they sometimes feel dizzy or fatigued and have dry hands. These are common symptoms of dehydration.
Dehydration is common among older people because as we age, our body composition changes, reducing the amount of water in our bodies. A normal adult body is around 70% water, but an elderly person’s body is only around 50% water.
Another factor contributing towards dehydration in elderly people is because as we age we tend to lose our sense of thirst, which makes it easy to forget to drink water regularly. By the time they do feel thirsty, they can already be severely dehydrated.
Dehydration can cause some serious effects to the elderly including kidney stones, bladder infections, confusion, and falls. So it’s extremely important to make sure your grandparents, elderly neighbours or other whānau are getting enough fluids throughout the day.
Here are 5 ways to help your elderly family and friends stay hydrated:
1. Mix it up
If your older relatives do not want to drink water all the time, offer them juice, a water-based smoothie, or maybe just spice up some water with lemon, cucumber or orange slices. Juice can be high in sugar so it’s a good idea to mix half the juice with water.
Sparkling water is also a good alternative if they are wanting something a bit bubblier. You can mix it with syrup and ice, perfect for a refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.
Trim milk is also very nutritious, and it contains a water content level of 91% and offers a high amount of protein, potassium, calcium and vitamin D which are all very important in keeping the body healthy. Many elderly people fall short on including calcium in their diets, so a glass of trim milk will both keep them hydrated and add some calcium to their diet.
2. Keep water close by
Keep a lightweight pitcher of water or a non-plastic refillable water bottle near their favourite seats in the house. This will help them to drink more water because it’s in a convenient place to grab a drink without leaving the comfort of their own seat, and seeing the bottle will also remind them on a regular basis to take a sip even if they don’t necessarily feel thirsty.
A good idea can be to buy them a bottle with markings that show how much water they have drunk so far that day – this way it is easy to keep track and acts as a good reminder throughout the day too!
3. Entice them with a delicious breakfast
Greek yoghurt is the perfect breakfast food. It’s packed full of essential nutrients and has a high-water content level of 81%. You can easily combine with fruits rich in water such as strawberries, rock melon, peaches, oranges or apples to make a delicious healthy breakfast.
Yogurt also makes a great bedtime snack because it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that produces serotonin and melatonin which is helpful for sleep and relaxation. Plus, one small serving of Greek yoghurt before bedtime will also help prevent muscle loss during sleep due to it’s high protein content. An added bonus!
4. Make soups and broths
Since soups are mostly liquid, they are a great way to keep hydrated. Pack them full of healthy vegetables that are high in water like broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and celery.
Find out what your elderly relative's favourite soup is and prepare a few meals for them. Soup freezes very well. You can stash half in the freezer for them to enjoy on a later day or if they are feeling too tired to cook, they can whip it out for a quick and easy meal.
A healthy soup will also boost immunity. Soups are full of cold-fighting nutrients. Chicken soup in particular, can help prevent the common cold especially when loaded with garlic, onions and celery.
5. Get creative!
Make them drinks that look appetising and fun to drink! Set up a happy hour date. Put on their favourite music and make some mocktails. Not only will they appreciate the quality time with you, but they also get to enjoy a delicious mocktail that will keep them hydrated.
Sharing a mojito mocktail with your parents or grandparents will sure bring up a story or two that you all will enjoy, and you will get to know them better.
Keep an eye out out for your older friends and family and watch out for symptoms of dehydration!
Encourage your loved ones to consume water more regularly or offer them alternatives. If you are looking for other ways to promote your loved one’s well-being, we can offer refreshing filtered water to keep them happy, healthy and hydrated.
Contact us now on 0800 801 802 to learn more about our water solutions for you and your family.