Senior adults have a higher risk of dehydration, particularly during hot, humid weather. That’s why they need to increase their intake of water during active senior living in the summertime.
Water, which makes up about 60 percent of the human body, is vital to health. It carries nutrients, protects tissues and organs, flushes toxins, maintains normal body temperature, and lubricates and cushions joints.
Everyday outdoor activities like gardening, walking, golfing, or bike riding can quickly lead to significant fluid loss through perspiration. When out in the heat or even working up a sweat indoors, older adults shouldn’t wait until they’re thirsty to get a drink. In fact, the sensation of thirst decreases with age, and dehydration can set in without a senior’s awareness.
So, enjoy active senior living, but be good to your body and hydrate throughout the day. To quote a well-known American senior, Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Drinking more water or other liquids is both the prevention and the treatment for dehydration. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink about 3 liters (or 13 cups) and women, 2.2 liters (or 9 cups), of fluids daily. All beverages count toward the total, as do foods with high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.
Keep up with active senior living by following these hot-weather hydration tips
Here are several tips to help avoid dehydration during summer or any other time of year:
- Eat these dehydration-fighting fruits and vegetables: grapes, grapefruit, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and mixed salad greens.
- Sip or drink water, sports drinks, fruit juices, tea, coffee, broth, or milk throughout the day.
- Limit intake of alcohol, which can increase risk of dehydration.
- Drink water before and after exercising or going out into the sun.
- Ensure that seniors with dementia drink enough water, as they might forget to drink.
Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration
Be prepared by knowing the symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration. According to the Mayo Clinic, they are dry, sticky mouth; tiredness; thirst; decreased urine output; dry skin; headache; constipation; and lightheadedness. Anyone with these symptoms should see their physician.
Additional symptoms, signaling severe dehydration, are irritability, confusion, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, fever, fast heartbeat, and rapid breathing. Anyone with these symptoms should be taken immediately to an emergency room to be treated quickly with replenishing fluids.
A few final words: It’s summertime, it’s hot, and it’s humid, so … drink plenty of water!
Brethren Village—meeting your needs for health, transportation, and more
At Brethren Village Retirement Community, we take pride in creating and maintaining a safe, healthy environment for our Residents throughout the year. During hot summer weather, we encourage more Residents to use our free shuttle service to ride in comfort to campus destinations. Plus, our on-demand shuttle routinely takes Residents to supermarkets, retail shopping, multiple banks, the pharmacy, and other convenient stops along and near the Route 501 corridor.
The health and safety of our Residents are our highest priorities at Brethren Village. If you are a loved one is interested in a caring, health-focused environment at a senior residential living community, we invite you to visit our campus and learn more about our retirement living options and services.
We hope you will contact us to request more information or schedule a tour of our active senior living community, located in Lititz near Lancaster, PA.