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Hydration Tips for Seniors

6 Comments

We buy fruit juice popsicles for my 90 year old family member and she’s gotten to look forward to them. There are some that are 100% fruit juice so there’s a certain amount of vitamin C. Every little bit helps.

My dh is back in the hospital again this time for sezures and dehydration, this is the cause of nursing home. they were giving him anything to drink with thickner and that is nasty, the food also taste nasty so he will not eat.

Yes, food can be a big part of staying hydrated. I figure I drink about 24 fl oz of liquid a day, but I eat a lot of fresh fruit and eat plain yogurt twice a day. As a doctor said to me after a physical exam, "whatever you are doing seems to be working well for you". I tend to get cramps if I drink much more than that, and then become unable to eat. Some years ago I was working in a very hot situation and drank much water, but after a couple months I lost 12 lbs which some would welcome, but in my case, being 6'0" and dropping from 135 to 123 lbs was not desirable. I'm 66 y/o now.

Yes, older people can become dehydrated more easily than we would in extremely hot weather and many are on diuretics which can contribute to that, so we do need to be mindful. Contrary to popular advice, fruit juice, soda and caffeinated beverages can all count toward daily fluid intake. Studies have shown that one or two caffeinated beverages or alcoholic drinks do not cause dehydration (especially in regular drinkers), and unless you are battling excess weight or high blood sugar there is nothing wrong with the occasional soda pop or glass of fruit juice. If your care recipient is flooding the bed and soaking through their pull-ups throughout the day they may actually be drinking too much!

Jennifer, thank you for the nice informative article, and the photo makes me want to drink whatever is in that pitcher :)

Now I wish my Dad would drink more, but to him more water means more trips to the bathroom which can be a challenge for him, even when using a Depend type garment. It is so tough to change his way of thinking. His Saturday caregiver will try different approaches, such as bringing my Dad watermelon... and trying to mix different fruit juices together such as orange juice with cranberry juice. Dad will only drink it when she is on duty... [sigh]. Oh well, we can only do what we can.

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My 93 year old mother was told to limit her intake of liquids (from all sources) due to congestive heart issue. She takes a lasik daily to keep fluids from building up. She has many symptoms of dehydration but blames these symptoms on the side effects of the various meds she is on. How does she balance her need to limit fluids with hydration?