Water makes up over 60% of our body. Water is vital to life. You can go weeks without food but only about 3-4 days without water. Unfortunately, many seniors suffer from poor hydration. The challenges of aging including a lack of thirst–our sense of thirst decreases as we age; mobility limitations that make getting to the bathroom and using the toilet more difficult; and incontinence cause some seniors to avoid drinking adequate amounts.
Best Beverages for Hydration
The best liquid to drink is water followed by beverages like unsweetened, decaffeinated tea and coffee, milk, and low sodium soups. Diluted fruit juice can be another option too. Make it half and half. Fruits and vegetables high in water content including melons, cucumbers, and berries help us stay hydrated as well. If eating is an issue, try a simple fruit smoothie made with fruit, ice, and milk. Avoid excess caffeine and concentrated high sugar beverages.
Monitor Your Beverage Intake
8-10 8 ounce glasses a day is advised for most people. Keep track of your intake. Sometimes we don’t know how much we are drinking unless we monitor it. Keep a chart OR set up 8 glasses, grab a permanent marker, number them 1-8 and drink them in order throughout the day. Put each glass away once you finish the beverage inside. Follow your doctor’s advice if you have a condition that affects or limits fluid intake.
The consequences of poor hydration include low energy, dry skin, poor circulation, constipation, medication concerns, and other potentially serious health issues. Keeping hydrated is one of the best things we can do for our health. Make it a daily goal to drink up!
If you are concerned about a loved one, read more about the causes and effects of dehydration.