It’s hot outside, which means we are all at risk of dehydration. However, adults over the age of 60 can experience complications related to dehydration that can put their cognitive and physical health at risk. Here is what you need to know about dehydration, as well as how you can avoid it all year long.
Dangers of Dehydration
Dehydration can happen to anyone who is not taking in enough fluids throughout the day. While dehydration is dangerous for anyone of any age, the risk of more serious complications increases with age and with chronic conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, older adults are more at risk for dehydration due to a smaller fluid reserve. Add in chronic conditions like diabetes or dementia, and the risk for dangerous complications only increases.
Dehydration in adults over the age of 60 can lead to infections, acute confusion or altered mental state, kidney stones, falls and even seizures. The good news? You can take an active role in preventing dehydration by making fluid intake a regular part of your daily routine.
Preventing dehydration begins with drinking more water, but guzzling water throughout the day is not always convenient for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite tips for staying hydrated without feeling overwhelmed.
- Keep a bottle of water near you at all times, including in your purse, by your favorite chair, and in your car.
- Purchase water bottles you love and will use. If you prefer ice-cold water, find a water bottle that is insulated and can maintain that temperature. If you love a stylish look, find a water bottle that will become your new favorite accessory.
- Try “eating” your water by adding water-heavy foods on your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try watermelon, cucumber, or grapes.
- Drink a cup of water before your morning coffee or tea. It only takes a few weeks of practice before it will become a habit.
- Skip a second or third cup of coffee and switch to water instead.
- Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary drinks and choose water as your go-to beverage instead.
- Work with your physician to see if supplements are right for you to increase your hydration.
- If you take a diuretic, be sure you are increasing your fluid intake as recommended by your physician.
- If you struggle to drink water because it is too boring or bland, try adding in slices of orange, lemon, lime or cucumber. Berries work great, too. Mix and match to find your favorite combination.
- Try drinking a cup of water before or after certain daily routines, like brushing your teeth, eating lunch or taking your afternoon walk.
- Speaking of your afternoon walk, ensure you are hydrating well before and after any exercise session.
We are cheering you on as you develop healthy hydration habits this season!