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  • Erin Skelton

How Assisted Living Surprise AZ Helps Seniors Stay Hydrated

It can be difficult to spot signs of dehydration in seniors. Elderly adults do not tend to drink as much or feel the need to drink as much as they used to consume in their younger days. Due to this, symptoms of dehydration in seniors can be challenging to identify.

How Can We Become Dehydrated?

According to Mayo Clinic, “Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions.” When we become older, we can get dehydrated more quickly due to the changes in our aging bodies and the way that our kidneys function. Luckily for our residents, our caregivers at assisted living Surprise AZ are trained to notice the signs and symptoms of dehydration.

Signs of Dehydration in the Elderly

If you are caring for an elder individual, it is wise to become familiar with signs of dehydration, especially during the summer months. During the early stages of dehydration, you may notice the following:

  1. Dry mouth/dry tongue with thick salvia

  2. Cramping in their limbs

  3. Crying, but no tears

  4. Headaches

  5. Body weakness

  6. Sleeplessness/irritability

  7. Low urine output

  8. Dry skin

  9. Constipation

If the signs listed above are ignored or undiagnosed, dehydration can be life-threatening to seniors and can carry over into additional health problems.

An Easy Way to Test if Someone is Dehydrated

A quick and easy way to determine if someone is dehydrated is to pinch the skin on the back of their hand. Using your pointer finger and thumb, give a quick pinch to the skin while lifting it. If it falls down quickly back to the top of their hand, no dehydration is detected.

Life-Threatening Symptoms if Dehydration is Prolonged or Undetected

If your loved one in an assisting living Surprise AZ home has any of the following symptoms or if you suspect that dehydration went undetected, start pushing fluids immediately. If increasing fluids does not resolve the following issues, please seek medical care immediately.

  1. Rapid, but weak heart rate

  2. Sunken eyes

  3. Low blood pressure

  4. No sweating

  5. Delirium

  6. Convulsions

  7. Bloated stomach

  8. Seizures

  9. Kidney failure

Tips to Help the Elderly Stay Hydrated

Hydrating elderly citizens does not have to be complicated. The following tips can be gentle reminders to seniors and their loving caregivers to avoid dehydration.

  1. Encourage fluids. Encourage the elderly people in your life to drink often and regularly. An easy way that assisted living Surprise AZ homes make it possible is to have a glass of water near them at all times. Placing a refillable water bottle and putting it next to their bed or chair if they have mobility issues, can solve the problem of dehydration. Just like any of us, plain water can get old day after day, glass after glass. If you notice that plain water is not encouraging them to drink, try flavoring it with some fresh fruit like berries, lemons, limes, cucumber, mint, or even a sprinkle of Crystal Light mix-ins. To really mix things up, try coconut water in addition to these combinations.

  2. Avoid caffeine, sugary drinks, and alcohol. If too much coffee, juice, soda, wine, etc. are consumed, each can actually speed up the dehydration process.

  3. Wear breathable material. Dress your loved one in clothing such as cotton and linen. These materials allow the body to sweat and breathe naturally. Avoid polyester-based fabrics, rayon, and jeans.

  4. Take breaks frequently. If your loved one enjoys activities outside in the heat, or even indoors, make sure that they are taking rest breaks. Heat has a way of sucking and decreasing the energy levels of elderly individuals. The heat can quickly decrease the energy levels of elderly individuals in assisted living Surprise AZ homes.

  5. Eat Fruits. Large amounts of water are found in fruits and vegetables. Consuming these healthy foods can help with hydration. Some of the foods that contain the highest levels of water include watermelon, peaches, grapefruit, lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

  6. Act on dehydration signs quickly. If the person you are caring for is showing early signs of dehydration, offer them a bottle of water, Gatorade, Powerade or coconut water to replenish their electrolytes quickly.

  7. Know their medications. Some medications (like diuretics) can cause an elderly person to become dehydrated even faster than normal. Stay mindful of the medications they are taking so you can increase their normal fluid intake if necessary.

Important Note: If you have additional questions or concerns, please speak with your loved one’s physician before making any drastic changes.

How Can Assisted Living Surprise AZ Help Your Loved One?

At Brookhaven Assisted Living Surprise AZ, we manage all care for your loved one including signs of dehydration to keep your mother or father healthy. Through a personalized plan, companionship, and socialization, Brookhaven Assisted Living ensures your loved one is:

  • Getting the right amount of fluids

  • Eating well-rounded, healthy meals that are prepared for them

  • Having their medications managed and monitored by a trained caregiver who is aware of any interactions that could cause dehydration, etc.

  • Assistance with transferring, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Diabetes, Cancer, Kidney Function, and more.

To find out more about how Brookhaven Assisted Living can help you and your loved one. Contact us today for a tour and consultation.

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