Seniors and dehydration

by michellerogers on April 10, 2009

I thought it would be worthwhile to continue on from nutrition to a very serious issue with our seniors, DEHYDRATION!

When we care for our clients we observe their intake of fluids is very limited and yet is important to get our seniors to drink their fluids.

We help a client that will only drink 1 glass of milk and if we have a good day 2 additional glasses of apple or cranberry juice.  Though this is not ideal it is better then no fluids at all. 

Seniors have a diminished sense of thirst, and possibly effects from medications too.  Our client I referred to above does not want to drink water and constantly battles urinary tract infections.  Because he is dehydrated once the urinary tract infection sets in we need to take him to hospital for re-hydration and start the medication to clear the infection.  Even though we have experienced the situation a few times we cannot change his behavior nor can we get him interested in consuming more fluids.

The body’s natural tendency is to dehydrate with age by at least 20 percent.  Then you complicate the situation by adding in medications that can have a serious impact on dehydration along with dementia or other cognitive problems.

As we are taught we all should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.  If you are challenged with getting your loved one to drink water try to get creative by cutting the juice by 50% and adding water or pickup some crystal light t add flavor to the water.

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