Dehydration is a common and very serious condition for older adults. It can also cause other major health problems like kidney stones, blood clot complications, passing out, rapid but weak pulse, and lowered blood pressure. Being properly hydrated is also very important for certain medications to work.
The best thing to do is try to prevent it from happening, but it’s much easier said than done to increase their fluid intake! To help with this sometimes frustrating mission, we rounded up some creative tips.
6 WAYS TO GET SENIORS TO DRINK MORE WATER
1. Remember there are many sources of fluids
Seniors don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweetened beverages, fruits, and vegetables all contain water. If your senior really hates drinking fluids, serve them more foods with high water content to increase their hydration.
2. Keep water easily accessible
Sometimes, making it easy for seniors to serve themselves could encourage them to drink more water. Try putting a lightweight pitcher of water and a cup near their favorite seat.
3. Experiment with beverages at different temperatures
Your elderly loved ones may prefer hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. Experiment to find out which type they like better. Try warming up juices, making decaf iced coffee with cream, or adding soda water to make drinks bubbly.
4. Try something savory
Those who like savory foods may enjoy drinking hot soup broth. The broth can come from a can, box, or powder, but some older adults really like it – especially in cold weather.
5. Make Ice Blocks
Homemade ice-blocks made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great summer treat. But they’re also a great way to get fluids into your senior.
6. Offer smoothies, milkshakes, sports drinks
Some stubborn older adults may really resist drinking fluids. If so, you can try enticing them with smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, or sports drinks. Sometimes they’ll like the flavour or texture and be willing to drink these beverages.
These are a few ideas to help you coax your senior into drinking more water. What’s important is to be creative and arm yourself with many different ideas in case their preferences change.
Be careful of health issues and check with the doctor when you have questions. For example, don’t give high sodium drinks to someone with high blood pressure, milkshakes to someone already overweight with high cholesterol, or heavily sweetened drinks to a diabetic.
You can also click on this link to read the Qld Government's advice on Dehydration.