According to a UCLA School of Nursing study, up to 40% of seniors might be chronically dehydrated on a regular basis. It’s a big part of the reason why the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports that people over 65 are admitted into American hospitals for dehydration at much higher rates than those in other age groups.
It’s important for seniors to stay hydrated all year long. But it’s especially important for them to keep hydration in mind throughout the summer months. If you have a loved one who is embracing senior living right now, you should make sure they’re staying hydrated this summer. It’ll be the key to them staying healthy throughout the summer months. Here are several reasons why staying hydrated in the summer is a must for seniors.
Studies have shown that many older Americans begin to feel more fatigued as they age. There is no way to eliminate this fatigue completely, especially if this fatigue is caused by a certain health condition or even something as simple as a medication that a senior takes.
You can, however, stop an older loved one from feeling more fatigued than they should be by seeing to it that they stay hydrated. If your loved one is chronically dehydrated, their fatigue levels are inevitably going to increase. By staying hydrated, your loved one will be able to get at least some of their energy back. It’ll make it possible for them to lead a healthy lifestyle while enjoying their life in a senior care facility.
If your loved one isn’t drinking enough water day in and day out throughout the summer, they’ll likely begin to feel more than just fatigued. They might also find that their muscles will feel weaker than they usually do. This is when falls can take place and injuries can happen.
Seniors who are admitted to hospitals due to dehydration don’t always find themselves there simply because they have symptoms of dehydration like:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
They’ll also sometimes find themselves checking into hospitals due to injuries caused by dehydration. They may, for example, slip and fall as a direct result of their low hydration levels and break bones. Seniors in assisted living situations, in particular, could be at an increased risk for injuries sustained due to dehydration. It’s something you should keep an eye on if your loved one gets senior care in an assisted living community. The right facility will ensure they’re always hydrated.
When seniors are dehydrated, it’ll take a toll on more than just their bodies. It’ll also have a major impact on their minds. Your loved one might not be able to concentrate like they usually can when they’re dehydrated. Dehydration can affect their cognitive function in a big way and sometimes even leave them feeling confused and agitated because of it.
If your loved one ever starts to show signs of confusion or decreased cognitive function in the summer, your first thought might be to look into getting them memory care. But oftentimes, the confusion they’re exhibiting will be one of the many side effects of dehydration.
As we alluded to earlier, seniors in general are at an increased risk of suffering from dehydration. But those with dementia and other memory-related conditions are even more likely to be diagnosed with dehydration. These seniors aren’t always able to recognize when they’re feeling dehydrated. They also aren’t always able to let others know they’re feeling thirsty or suffering from dehydration symptoms.
It’ll be extremely important for you to keep your loved one’s hydration levels at the forefront of your mind this summer if they receive memory care. The simple act of making sure your loved one is hydrated could work wonders for their memory. Hydration has actually been shown to improve the memories of all seniors regardless of whether or not they receive care at a memory care community. You can help give your loved one’s memory a big boost by seeing to it that they stay hydrated.
Many older adults deal with chronic health conditions on a daily basis. They use everything from medications to physical therapy to treat them. If your loved one has a chronic condition or even just something as simple as a common cold, staying hydrated should be one of the things you use to treat it. Your loved one’s condition could get even worse than it already is if they aren’t drinking enough fluids.
You can help your loved one stabilize a chronic health condition by keeping them hydrated. You can also help to speed up the recovery process for your loved one if they have a cold, the flu, or another condition that has kept them off their feet for a few days by making a push to keep them hydrated.
In a worst-case scenario, dehydration can increase the mortality rates among seniors. Some seniors will need to be hospitalized for dehydration, and this can in and of itself lead to other health complications that could potentially turn deadly. Keeping your loved one hydrated all summer long can therefore decrease their chances of mortality. They’ll be able to enjoy their senior living experience more without having to worry about the dangers of dehydration.
Keep Your Loved One Hydrated in Senior Living
Is your loved one staying hydrated this summer? This is something you should try to discuss with them as often as you can. You should also make sure they’re living in a senior living community that makes hydration a top priority for seniors. Inspired Living is a senior living facility that will work to keep your loved one hydrated at all times. We’ll also communicate any concerns we might have about your loved one’s hydration levels to you.
Contact us today to hear more about our senior living community and why it would be right for your loved one.