As Bay Area senior caregiving experts, we know that often times seniors don’t eat and drink like they should. Sometimes they simply forget (especially those with dementia or related conditions), other times it’s simply a loss of appetite that’s often associated with aging. Dehydration can become a serious issue, so it’s best to prevent it when you can. If you care for an aging loved one in Palo Alto, San Jose or anywhere in the Bay Area we want you to know the symptoms of dehydration and what you can do to help prevent it.
How can you tell if an elderly loved one is dehydrated?
There are certain signs that may indicate dehydration, so if you suspect this to be the case you’ll want to contact the doctor to confirm whether it is dehydration or possibly another medical issue. Symptoms include:
- Low urinary output
- Lack of tears when crying
- Lack of sweat when it’s hot or humid
- Confusion or problems talking
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of consciousness
What can you do to help?
First, try to keep track of the foods and beverages your aging loved one eats and drinks. While you want to encourage drinking water, there are other foods that work to hydrate the body as well. These include cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, salad greens, plain yogurt, cantaloupe, soups, broths, and Jell-O. Keep a log of what your senior eats and drinks, along with how much. We’ve all been taught that it’s important to drink eight glasses of water every day, but this is a lot of water for an elderly person and the amount we need varies.
Most seniors aren’t super-active, so don’t be concerned if yours drinks only two or three glasses of water each day. The foods mentioned above along with many others contain a large percentage of water, so drinking it isn’t the only way to stay hydrated.
As always it’s best to work with your loved one’s physician to determine the best plan for staying well and avoiding dehydration, but you can play an important role by keeping an eye out for signs of dehydration and encouraging foods that help hydrate!
At Care Indeed we provide a wide range of services for those who need a helping hand. Our Bay Area in home caregivers are caring, thoughtful and compassionate. If you have a professional caregiver who helps out with the needs of your aging loved one, be sure to share any issues such as dehydration or other conditions so he or she will be watchful and aware when you aren’t there!