By: Margie Veis, Executive Director at Oakmont of Santa Clarita
At Oakmont of Santa Clarita, we love this time of year. Our resident and chef gardens thrive in the warmer days and higher temperatures at night make dining alfresco on the patio a lovely way to enjoy dinner with neighbors and friends.
However, with the heat of summer comes health risks for seniors. Older adults are at a higher risk for dehydration when temperatures rise; our sense of thirst decreases as we get older as well as our body’s ability to retain water and respond to temperature changes. The sunny days that we once enjoyed can be dangerous if we do not take precautions to stay healthy and safe.
Below are 6 easy tips to help seniors stay hydrated throughout the summer months.
1) Seniors should drink a full glass of water (8oz) every time they take medications. This can be an easy way to ensure better hydration without having to specifically set aside time to drink water.
2) Caregivers: make a point of offering water throughout the day. Even a sip here and there will help support better hydration.
3) Seniors and their caregivers should keep track of how much and how often they are drinking fluids. It can be easy to think that an older adult is getting enough water because they are not thirsty, but a reduced sense of thirst makes it hard to accurately measure fluid needs.
4) Keep water accessible throughout the home by leaving a water bottle in every room. That way it is in easy reach wherever desired.
5) Have small water bottles on hand to bring along when going out. Larger water bottles are great for carrying quantity, however they can be ungainly for a senior to carry with them. A smaller bottle fits easily in the hand, purse or pocket and can be refilled at water fountains, cafes and restaurants.
6) For seniors who do not like the taste of water, other fluids will work too! Low-sugar lemonade, decaf ice tea, spa water (water infused with fruit flavors) and coconut water are all great, flavorful options for supporting hydration.
Enjoy the summer months and stay hydrated!