Anyone may become dehydrated, but young children, older adults and people with chronic illnesses are most at risk. You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment. The key to how to hydrate an elderly person is to prevent dehydration before it occurs. Each person has different habits, preferences, and health conditions, so what’s most important is to be creative and try different ideas until you find ones that work for your older adult. Older adults that may suffer from arthritis or other conditions that limit use of their hands may not want to bother someone to help them hold a cup or glass. 2011;16(12):576, 578-80, 582. Older adults are at a higher risk for dehydration than younger adults. In these uncertain times, the safest place to be is in your own home. I have an elderly relative that has dementia very frail doesn't eat much or drink some days. Kenney WL, Chiu P. Influence of age on thirst and fluid intake. Advertisement. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage seniors to drink sips of water throughout the day. Since many elderly people do not have huge appetites they may not be receiving an adequate amount of electrolytes from food and beverages. Keeping reading to find the signs to look for and learn some quick tips to make sure the elderly people in your life are staying hydrated. 2009:339:b2663. To show our support for Nutrition and Hydration week 2014, BNF have produced a brief article on Dehydration in the Elderly. We can help. The whole thing is just weird to us. In addition, aging kidneys are less able to conserve or excrete sodium¹⁰. The key to how to hydrate an elderly person is to prevent dehydration before it occurs. Make the process easier. Hydration in the elderly can be easily managed with these simple tips: Important Note: If you have additional questions or concerns, please speak with your loved one’s physician before making any drastic changes. As a caregiver, it can be hard to spot dehydration symptoms in the elderly. Leave water out. Each can occur early on in the dehydration process: One of the quickest ways to test if your loved one is dehydrated is to lift the skin on the back of their hand. He won't take showers, change his clothes, and if he has an accident, and just leaves it. I pray your Mother will begin to eat and drink without having to have the peg tube. As we age, the composition of our bodies changes. To prevent dehydration and properly fuel the bodily functions, keep these ideas in mind when taking care of elderly loved ones. ... Van Onselen J. Senior dehydration is not only about liquid consumption. Take your pointer finger and thumb, pinch a section of skin from the back of their hand, lift up, and let go. 2011;29(1):37-42. If the signs above are present but ignored, they can become life-threatening and the proceeding symptoms could occur: If your loved one has any of these symptoms, and pushing fluids does not help, they need to go to the Emergency Room immediately. Also as a consequence of aging, the kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water during water deprivation⁹. (hence the kidney stones). But if his or her symptoms don't improve, it's best to head to the emergency room or call 911. The safest approach is preventing dehydration in the first place. Not only that, it’s easy for a person with dementia to be dehydrated, if they are taking medication, it could be causing a diuretic effect. Hydration in the elderly can be easily managed with these simple tips: Encourage fluids. The Liquid I.V. Make sure they have liquids around them at all times. Other electrolyte drinks for elderly can be mixed using a supplement drink mix. The later stages of dementia also makes it difficult for an older person to swallow. These cups are easy to grasp and take away the fear of spilling the beverage. Older individuals do not tend to get thirsty as quickly as someone younger, making the signs a challenge to identify. Eat more fruits and vegetables. If an elderly person is dehydrated, you should give him or her a glass of water right away. Bottles in convenient locations make it easier for seniors to serve themselves. J Nutr Health Aging 2009;13:150-7. The last couple days she has slept a lot & hasn't drank or ate much. It is my opinion from experience, nutrition is the #1 key to how well an elderly person can maintain and continue living in good health. 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.” As we age, we become dehydrated quicker, due to changes in our bodies and the way our kidneys function. Make it simpler for the elderly suffering from dementia by leaving out cups of water in all the rooms of the house where they spend time. Which Stationary Bike Is Better For Your Knees? Further compounding this is the fact that the feeling of thirst decreases in the elderly. Schols JM, De Groot CP, van der Cammen TJ, Olde Rikkert MG.Preventing and treating dehydration in the elderly during periods of illness and warm weather. Use an air conditioner indoors to maintain comfortable humidity, air exchange, and cooler temperatures. How much should a person drink to stay hydrated? We are taking extra precautions to protect our clients and caregivers from COVID-19, and our experienced nursing team is ensuring our compliance with all CDC guidelines as they emerge. Adding to this is the 20% of a person’s total fluid intake that comes from the diet, so having a reduced appetite which is common in the elderly, has an impact on hydration. If their skin quickly falls down, back onto the top of their hand, they are not dehydrated. Water as the only option can become boring. One of these changes is retention of less water in the body. Hydration Multiplier, Electrolyte Powder contains 3x the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks and may be able to hydrate 2-3 times faster and more efficiently than water alone. Home care can help manage elderly dehydration and keep your loved one healthy! Encourage the habit of drinking a beverage with every meal. It’s also essential to check with their doctor if you have questions about how a creative technique could affect their health.

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