If your elderly family member is becoming dehydrated more regularly, it’s definitely time to work with her medical team and figure out what’s behind this problem. Once you know that, you can put together a plan to keep it from continuing to happen.
Thirst Cues Work Differently Now than They Did
It might sound weird at first, but your elderly family member doesn’t experience thirst the same way that she did in the past. What that means is that if she has waited in the past, and is waiting now, to feel thirsty before she reaches for a glass of water, she’s already too late. Her approach now has to be to gradually sip on water throughout the day, regardless of whether she’s feeling thirsty. This is going to keep her from becoming dehydrated.
Water Doesn’t Taste the Way it Used to Taste
Another big issue can be that your senior’s sense of taste changes, too. Water might have been a neutral flavor for her in the past, but maybe now it’s intolerable to her for some reason. There are so many ways to make the flavor of water more appealing, ranging from changing the temperature of the water to using flavorings and herbal teas to change the taste. Experiment to find the answers your senior loves the best.
She’s Experiencing Changes in How Her Body Functions
There are more subtle changes, too. Your senior’s bladder, kidneys, and other organs may not work as well as they did in the past. There may be illnesses or health conditions that affect how your senior’s body processes and uses water. All of this can have an impact on how much water she needs and whether she’s able to get enough water to keep herself going.
Medications Can Be a Factor
Some of the medications your elderly family member takes can have a huge impact on her ability to stay hydrated. If she takes diuretics or blood pressure medications, it may be easier for your elderly family member to become dehydrated, for example. These are situations that require a conversation with your senior’s doctor. Her doctor can help you to understand how much water she needs and how to best accomplish that goal.
Tracking your senior’s water intake is a key way to ensure she’s getting enough water into her. Elder care providers can help your senior to do that accurately throughout the day.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Marina Del Ray, CA, please call Mom's Home Care and talk to our friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Our number is: 323-244-4789