We are moving into the hotter months of the year here in Texas. Hydration is key to staying and feeling healthy. Proper hydration keeps your system of fluids and electrolytes balanced. In the elderly, this regulation system may no longer function properly on its own, making dehydration more common — making adequate hydration even more important.
The Importance of Hydration
Dehydration is a risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality, especially in the elderly. This condition can lead to hospitalization, infection, loss of cognitive function, and even death if not treated immediately. Due to changes in the body during aging, such as a decrease in total body water as well as a decrease in being able to sense thirst, dehydration can happen quickly. Staying hydrated every day is the best way to prevent this.
Benefits of Keeping Well Hydrated
- Makes up 75% of the brain
- Regulates body temperature
- Makes up 83% of blood
- Helps body absorb nutrients
- Cushions joints
- Promotes skin health
- Helps convert food into energy
- Protects and cushions vital organs
- Promotes regular bowel movements
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Dry skin, mouth or cracked lips
- Sunken eyes
- Frequent urinary infections
- Easily tired or confused
- Dark urine, small quantity
- Low blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
Focus on drinking small, frequent amounts of fluid throughout the day rather than waiting to feel thirsty.
Keep water accessible throughout the day.
Water is the best option for hydration, but any fluids count toward the daily requirement.
You can get fluids through foods such as soups, fresh fruits and vegetables, and ice pops.
Limit your time outside in the blazing sun; take a cup/bottle of water with you to sip on.