More is Not Always Better


Charlie has always been a person who thinks that more is better.

If a project called for two nails, he would use four.

He uses that over-kill theory in everything he does. He will check several times to make sure a door is locked—obsessive compulsive disorder perhaps. Or, maybe it is just a carry-over from his flying days when he would spend hours poring over a flight manual while his buddies were playing poker in the ready-room; better safe than sorry.

A few years ago Charlie developed a "going" problem.

He was "going" constantly – at least every hour. He would empty his bladder before a trip to the grocery store and by the time we got there he would have to find a rest room.

This went on for three years. He told the doctors about his "problem" and they checked his prostate, told him it was enlarged and gave him a little pill to fix the problem – to no avail. Finally, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and the culprit was removed.

But Charlie's "going" problem did not go away.

One day he asked me how much water our glasses held. I measured to make sure – 16 oz. "Oh," he said, in a moment of enlightenment. "I have been drinking at least eight glasses of water a day because that's what I read I should be drinking."

The problem was, that the eight glasses a day recommendation was for an eight ounce glass, not sixteen, and he wasn't counting the glasses of juice, coffee and tea he was also consuming on a regular basis.

Charlie has cut back on his fluid intake and his "going" problem is gone! It's amazing – his bladder now holds on for four hours, if necessary.

Getting enough fluids into senior citizens can be a problem. Food and beverages don't taste the same to their worn out taste buds as they used to. To get enough fluids into them may require some monitoring and creative thinking on your part.

Medical journals now recommend that men should have approximately thirteen 8 oz. cups of fluid per day, and women should consume nine cups.

In times of hot humid weather, or whenever you're dealing with a fever or bladder infection, fluid intake should be increased somewhat. On the other hand, people with cardiac or kidney problems may need to decrease the amount they drink.

If in doubt, check with your doctor.

When you are trying to get enough fluids into yourself or the person for whom you are caring, remember Charlie. Count all fluids, and remember that more is not always better. When in doubt, measure!

Marlis describes herself as a “Gramma who loves technology and has a lot to say.” She blogs about whatever catches her interest: food, books, family and more. For, she writes about the issues facing the elderly and her experiences caring for her husband, Charlie, who suffers from dementia.

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I'm 67 and was going all the time, read a Sunday magazine article about the new Ken Jennings book questioning things we "know", I counted and realized that I wasn't counting soups, coffee, tea, just water, all better now...duh...