Visiting Angels, Punta Gorda Blog

Cheers to the New Year: Tips to Help Seniors Increase Their Water Intake

Senior aged man drinking a glass of waterChronic dehydration is a common concern among seniors. The thirst reflex diminishes with age, meaning that many seniors don’t realize that their bodies are craving water. Certain medications can also contribute to dehydration, such as diuretics or similar prescriptions that treat high blood pressure or heart disease. Other factors that lead to dehydration in the senior population include memory loss, acute illnesses, such as the flu or urinary tract infections, limited mobility, or the fear of having an accident when leaving the house. Dehydration can lead to further complicated medical conditions, so it’s important that seniors take initiative when it comes to their fluid intake. As we head into 2020, resolve to stay hydrated. Here are a few ways to help seniors increase their water intake.

Talk with Your Doctor

Before making any changes to your fluid intake, start by having a conversation with your doctor. Some medications or chronic health conditions may limit how much water you should drink. Research is mixed regarding how much fluid intake seniors should consume each day, as well as general fluid intake versus strictly water. The Mayo Clinic suggests at least eight ounces of water is a reasonable goal. But the Mayo Clinic also recognizes that every individual has unique hydration needs. Some seniors need more water than others, depending on their activity levels and overall health. Have a conversation with your doctor to discuss your individual hydration needs and aim to meet your physician’s recommendations.

Incorporate Hydration into Your Routine

Start the day by drinking a glass or two of water, before reaching for that cup of coffee. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps activate your internal organs. Drink one glass of water before eating each meal. This helps with digestion and can even prevent overeating. Drink a glass of water when you feel the urge to snack. Often, thirst is often confused with hunger, so try reaching for a glass of water before you open that snack.

Start Small

Sometimes, seniors are reluctant to drink a large glass of water or other drink because it’s just too big. If you’re looking to increase your water intake, try smaller quantities, but more frequent throughout your day. Instead of eight ounces of water eight times in a day, try four-five ounces of fluid every waking hour. Purchase smaller portions instead of buying the biggest size available. Buy a child-sized reusable water bottle instead of an intimidating 32 or 48 ounce one.

Keep a Journal

Another approach to increasing your fluid intake is to keep a daily record. Make yourself a chart or simply jot down how many ounces you’ve consumed. Set realistic goals for yourself that you’ll be able to achieve.

Purchase a Smart Water Bottle

Use technology to help you achieve your hydration goals. Consider purchasing a smart water bottle that notifies you when it’s time to drink more water. Some water bottles light up when it’s been a while since your last sip. Other smart water bottles send notifications to your smart phone, reminding you to drink. Even if you don’t purchase a smart water bottle, you can still use technology to help you meet your goals. Set hydration alarms on your phone or use a kitchen timer to help remind you to drink up.

Eat Hydrating Foods

Many fruits and vegetables contribute to hydration and are a great way to supplement your hydration needs. Be sure to incorporate foods that are rich in water into your daily nutrition. Fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe are delicious, hydrating fruits. Vegetables rich with water include celery, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach. Use leftover fruits and vegetables to make your own infused water. Fill a water pitcher with filtered water, then add slices of cucumber, lemon, orange, or strawberries and let the slices float around. Let the flavors infuse the water for two-four hours, or overnight, and consume within two days.

Visiting Angels Punta Gorda would like to wish all our clients and their families a Happy New Year! As you resolve to increase your water intake, perhaps this year you also resolve to get the help you need in order to maintain your independence and well-being. With the help from our senior home care services provided by compassionate caregivers, you can make 2020 your best year yet. We provide a variety of in-home care that allow seniors to live comfortably in their own home. We can even help you stay hydrated by offering you plenty of fluids during our visits. Our in-home senior care services are second to none. We work with your schedule to provide the in-home care you need. Getting started is easy. Simply contact us today by calling 941-347-8288 Punta Gorda or 239-226-1620 Cape Coral.

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.