Denver Home Care Blog

In-Home Caregiver Tips On Avoiding Winter Dehydration

It’s important for in-home caregivers to keep seniors in Wheat Ridge, CO hydrated during the winter

While the majority of people consider dehydration to be a health concern only during the hot summer months, for many aging adults, it is a year-round issue. During the winter, the causes for fluid loss may not be so apparent, especially in seniors who have a slightly diminished sense of thirst. From this, every family in-home caregiver can conclude that winter hydration is very important for your loved one’s well-being and overall health.

A professional in-home caregiver points out that some reasons for a lack of water retention include:

  • Fever caused by the flu
  • Diahrrea and vomiting from a stomach virus
  • Increased urination commonly caused by certain types of prescribed medications
  • Diabetes
  • The process of aging may cause older adults to feel a reduction in the sense of thirst

The signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue and/or headaches
  • Decreased urinary output – the urine becomes more concentrated and yellowish
  • Dry nostrils and nasal passages
  • Dry, cracked lips, dry mouth, eyes stop making tears, sweating may stop, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, and lightheadedness
  • Sudden weakness as the brain and other body organs receive less blood
  • If dehydration is untreated, coma and organ failure may occur
  • Irritability and confusion

Should you notice any of the above mentioned symptoms in your loved one, contact their physician immediately.

Helping Seniors Stay Hydrated as an In-Home Caregiver

On the bright side, there are certain precautionary measures and treatments that can help avoid or lessen the symptoms of senior dehydration.

The professional in-home caregivers at Visiting Angels of Denver suggest trying out these six ways to prevent dehydration in your loved one:

  1. Fluid replacement treatment is a common treatment for combating dehydration. Used to replenish bodily fluids, the treatment can include drinking plenty of water, juice, soups, clear broth, Popsicles, Jell-O, ice cream, milk, puddings, decaffeinated beverages, Kool-Aid, nutritional drink supplements and more.
  2. Your loved one should consider reducing or completely eliminating beverages known for dehydrating qualities such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks. They should limit their alcohol consumption too, as alcoholic drinks increase the risk of dehydration.
  3. If Mom or Dad won’t give up drinking unhealthy beverages such as soda and soft drinks, a professional in-home caregiver recommends adding more water to their daily intake.
  4. Remind your loved one to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as they have a high water content.
  5. Encourage Mom or Dad to drink plenty of water, tea, and freshly squeezed juices throughout the day in smaller amounts. It is not good to suddenly gulp down 64 ounces of liquid in one take. Consider filling a 24-32 ounce tumbler once in the morning, refill it around noon, and refill it once more for the afternoon. Make sure they consume that amount no later than 5 PM. In addition to this, seniors are advised to start limiting fluids 1 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  6. If your loved one has diarrhea and/or are vomiting, you can try to alter their diet and use medications to reduce the severity of the symptoms and minimize water loss. Moreover, medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to control fever.

Visiting Angels of Denver is a leading provider of non-medical in-home senior care services. To learn more about the in-home care provided by our staff of compassionate caregivers, please call our Wheat Ridge office at (303) 232-9999 or contact us for more information.

Visiting Angels proudly serves Arvada, Aurora, Denver, Glendale, Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge and the surrounding areas of Colorado.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.