The new year marks the start of a blank slate, an opportunity to start again. Americans across the nation set goals or resolutions to improve their health in the year ahead. Although the majority of resolutions focus on exercise or nutrition, an often overlooked resolution among older adults is drinking more water.
Seniors are at a greater risk for dehydration than any other age group. Multiple factors contribute to this increased risk including a diminishing thirst response, taking certain prescription medications, memory loss, limited mobility, and fear of incontinence when leaving the home.
Dehydration is a serious condition and can happen rather quickly. It can cause serious damage to the body and can lead to further complicated medical conditions. Seniors must take the initiative when it comes to drinking enough water. As we welcome the New Year, resolve to increase your hydration. Here are four ways seniors can drink more water.
Seek Recommendations from Your Physician
Before you drastically increase your water intake, have a conversation with your doctor. Research is mixed regarding how much daily water seniors need. The Mayo Clinic suggests at least eight ounces of water a day is a reasonable goal. However, the Mayo Clinic also recognizes that every individual has unique hydration needs. Certain medications or chronic health conditions may limit how much water some seniors should consume. Talk with your physician about your specific hydration needs and use that to set a realistic hydration resolution.
Slowly Add Water to Your Daily Routine
Once you’ve talked with your doctor, slowly add more water to your daily routine. Start your day with a small glass of water before enjoying a cup of coffee or tea. Drink water instead of other beverages with your meals and snacks. Connect hydration with other parts of your daily routine, such as taking a sip of water during commercial breaks, drinking a cup of water after getting dressed, or taking a nap.
Another way seniors can increase hydration is to set reminders or alarms. Use your smartphone or smart speaker to remind you to drink water every hour. Purchase a smart water bottle that lights up when you haven’t sipped in a certain time frame. Start a hydration journal so that you remember how much water you’re consumed. Ask a family member or friend to check in with you regarding your hydration goals.
Eat Foods With Higher Water Content
Finally, seniors can meet their hydration goals by consuming foods with higher water content. Fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe are delicious, hydrating fruits. Vegetables rich in water include celery, zucchini, lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach. In addition to eating more fruits and vegetables, seniors who find water bland may appreciate making their own infused water. Find a recipe online, or try this simple berry-infused water recipe.
Senior Living Solutions extends a Happy New Year to all of our clients and their families! As you think about what lies ahead in 2023, perhaps this is the year you plan to explore your care options as a senior. If you’re thinking about a move to a senior living community, let us help you. We are the only senior-living consulting agency that’s based in Arkansas and operates locally. We are extremely familiar with local senior communities and what they have to offer seniors in the area. We can guide you and your family, for free, as you explore your senior living options. Since we’ve personally toured and vetted each community and provider, we’re able to cut down on the amount of time a family must spend touring places that may not meet their needs. We can also use this information to recommend signing up for only the levels of care needed which can potentially save a lot of money. To learn more, or to schedule your no-cost consultation, please contact us today by calling 501-650-3013.