Although some of our residents are on fluid restrictions for health reasons, and others really like their pop, as the weather starts to warm up, we encourage the majority of them to drink plenty of water.
Water makes up about 60% of our body make-up, and serves several useful purposes, including helping control body temperature, insulating against cold weather, carrying nutrients to cells, carrying away waste, promoting digestion, keeping skin, eyes, and mouth moist, lubricating joints, helping with bowel regularity, and keeping the urinary tract well flushed. Drinking plenty of water can also increase energy, help with weight loss, remove toxins from your body, boost your mood and your immune system,
Failure to drink enough water will result in dehydration, a condition which may require hospitalization to treat.
Some symptoms include dry mouth and skin, headache, fatigue, high body temperature, kidney function and circulation problems, pulse and repertory abnormalities, dizziness, muscle spasms, a swollen tongue, and even poor mental functioning and delirium.
Unfortunately, as we age, our sense of thirst may become diminished and we will not know we need a drink until we are already getting dehydrated. Our sense of hunger versus thirst may become blurred as we age. Also, with bladder control problems that many seniors face, they are leery of drinking too much. Seniors are at risk for dehydration for this and other reasons.
So, how much water do I need, you may ask. It is recommended that you get 48-64 ounces a day. This may, along with water, be met by drinking milk, juice, and other decaffeinated drinks or taking Jello or soup broth. Fruits and vegetables, themselves, also contain water. Some beverages are not useful in hydrating you, including caffeine and alcoholic drinks.
So, what can you do to help meet your daily hydration needs? Here are a few suggestions:
- Drink a glass of water right away in the morning
- Bring a bottle with you when you’re walking or driving
- Take water breaks instead of coffee breaks during the day
- Find things that are healthy and that you like to drink, and have them easily accessible so that you’re more likely to drink them throughout the day.
Information for this article was gathered from the following sources: