If you and your senior’s doctor have noticed that she’s becoming dehydrated more often, there could be some reasons for that. Understanding those reasons can help you to find solutions that help your senior to stay hydrated.
Her Body Isn’t Working the Way it Used to Work
As your elderly family member ages, her body works differently than it used to work. Her kidneys, for instance, may be less able to function the way that they should. Work with your elderly family member’s doctor to determine how you and she can counter balance those changes to help her to stay properly hydrated.
She’s Taking Medications that Affect Hydration
Other health conditions can make a big difference, too. Some of the medications for high blood pressure or other conditions can cause your senior’s body to release more water than usual. Some other medications can have side effects such as diarrhea or other issues that keep your senior’s hydration levels off balance. Talk to your elderly family member’s doctor about her medications and how they can affect her hydration levels so that you know what you can do to counteract those effects.
She’s Not as Aware of Thirst Levels
Your elderly family member may also be less sensitive to how thirsty she is. This is a common change for aging adults and it can keep your elderly family member from drinking beverages throughout the day. This is especially true if your aging adult relies on thirst cues to remember to drink anything at all. You may need to come up with other types of reminders throughout the day to help prompt your senior to drink.
Her Sense of Taste Has Changed
Most people find water pretty bland, but can tolerate it. As your senior’s sense of taste changes over time, though, she may find the taste of water to be more and more unappealing. Finding ways to flavor water without adding unhealthy ingredients can be a way around this. Herbal teas are a great option, because they don’t include sugar unless you add it and the flavors can be quite appealing.
It’s tough to keep up with how much water your senior is drinking, especially if you can’t be there with her as much as you want to be. Working with elder care providers can help you to get a fuller picture of how much water your elderly family member is drinking throughout the day.