Elder care includes knowing that seniors and elders are at increased risk than younger folks to develop dehydration.
And dehydration can lead to serious problems, especially in the hot summertime. Summer safety tips include drinking the right kinds and the right amounts of fluids.
The reasons for this include…
- With aging, the body’s ability to conserve water decreases.
- Seniors also are less aware of their thirst.
- Aging changes also make it more difficult to adjust to temperature changes.
Drinking water throughout the day is important. Taking water along when traveling in the heat can prevent heat-related problems. When there’s an unexpected delay in the heat, keeping hydrated helps prevent heat illnesses.
It’s also important to replace the salts lost in sweating with sweat replacement fluids. Check with you or your carereceiver’s doctor or other heath care professional for suggestions of which ones to use, and when.
Someone on a low salt, low sodium or low potassium diet should get advice from their own medical professionals about how to safely replace sodium and potassium salts. And someone on a fluid restricted diet needs professional guidance in replacing fluids.
Did you know that caffeine and alcohol are diuretics?
Diuretics are substances that cause the kidneys to excrete or remove water from the body. As medications, diuretics are used to treat conditions like high blood pressure and congestive heart failure.
Because caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, they cause loss of water. So they actually can increase the risk of dehydration. Drinking non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages will alleviate this problem.
Keeping track of how much you or your carereceiver drinks can be a challenge. One way is to simply have a reminder and make a check or a slash when a glass of water is drunk. Keeping this list where you can see it as a reminder throughout the day, and where it can be easily updated ideal.
You could use Post-It ® Notes or a white board. Some white boards come with magnets and can be attached to the refrigerator. A white board also makes a great way to communicate with your carereceiver. This can be a place to post emergency numbers or notes about where you are if you are outside or have left for a short errand, for example.
Do you have a suggestion for preventing dehydration when giving elder care? Share them in the comments below. You can sign in with either Facebook or Google Plus to leave your comment!