Humans cannot live without water!! We can only survive for a short period of time without drinking or hydrating. Without it, dehydration can set in quickly, causing a multitude of medical emergencies. So, it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated, especially those with swallowing disorders such as dysphagia or Alzheimer’s.
The National Library of Medicine reports the prevalence of dehydration among hospitalized individuals 65 or older can range from 6%-30%. You should monitor your liquid intake as well as those of loved ones, and caregivers must be aware of hydration levels for the elderly!!
Water is crucial to life. Obviously, one way to get water is through drinking it, but we do get it from other sources, such as food. While humans can survive for longer periods without food, a person may only survive a few days without water. Of course, this varies depending upon factors such as activity levels and environment. Our body needs water for:
Now that we know how important it is to hydrate, let's delve into some tips that can help you figure out how to stay hydrated, especially if you or your loved one is dealing with dysphagia and Alzheimer’s. Here are 5 tips for staying hydrated -
Drinking plenty of liquids will help you or a loved one make sure you stay hydrated. Be sure to drink at regular intervals during the day if necessary, set reminders. Also, drink or offer a variety of liquids such as herbal tea, flavored waters, or even add a slice of citrus to tap water.
When immediate hydration is required, the use of convenient water add-ins can get you or your loved one the hydration you need quickly. The use of sports drinks can make sure you stay hydrated and add electrolytes. For specific dietary needs, you can opt for zero-sugar options.
Hydration doesn’t just mean drinking water or liquids. Foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, and soup all have high water content. Along with simple water intake, these water-rich foods can superhydrate your body.
One way to make sure you stay hydrated is to make the environment around you or your loved one conducive to liquid intake. Proper hydration techniques can mean keeping a water bottle or sippy cup (for those with swallowing difficulties) around and being sure to monitor room temperatures. Also, keep an eye on any medications that can cause dehydration.
Be sure to let your doctor or loved one’s medical team know about liquid intake levels. Keep your physician, therapist, or nutritionist in the loop since they are a great source of insights, recommendations, and guidance. Making sure you stay hydrated can sometimes require planning and forethought. Often, once you feel thirsty, it’s too late!! Especially for older people who may not know that they are becoming dehydrated. Drink up and stay healthy!
Water is essential to keep our body healthy, but the quantity of water we need to intake can also be influenced by the food we eat. If you are somebody who wants taste along with nutrition and hydration, water-rich fruits and vegetables, sports drinks, and electrolytes are your best bet. These foods and drinks can help you stay hydrated, especially if you are involved in rigorous physical activities.
Both caregivers and family members must recognize the signs of dehydration in older adults, as well as in ourselves. Some signs of dehydration may include -
If you notice any of these signs, it is essential to take swift action to rehydrate the affected individual as soon as possible. Additionally, it is important to remember that these symptoms may also indicate the presence of an underlying condition. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.
The general rule of thumb is a person can survive without water for as long as 3 days. Factors that can change the amount of water needed include:
Without water, dehydration can set in quickly, causing extreme thirst, fatigue, and, eventually, organ failure. Not good!! We need water for a whole host of essential functions, from regulating the internal temperature of our bodies to keeping cells alive. If a person is severely dehydrated, you must seek urgent medical attention. If not rehydrated, the complications of dehydration can affect the -
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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