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My mother has always been a slow eater and a slow drinker, even when she was a kid. My mother's doctor wants my Mom to drink at least 3- 16.9 fluid oz bottles a day every day. She's doing good if she drinks 1 - 16.9 fluid oz bottle in 3 days. If I let her, she would much rather drink multiple cups of coffee all day long.


Although there is water in coffee, coffee is not good for her kidneys and bladder especially since she has frequent UTI's and is urine incontinent and has to wear diapers all day and all night.


Mom doesn't like tea, or kool-aid or lemonade or lemon water or flavored water.


Can anyone help me out please? Her urine is very, very strong and dark. Her urine smells like snot and it's filmy like too. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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My mom had CHF. When it was really bad we had to limit her fluids and make sure she didn't go over a certain amount. So that meant we had to count the water used in cooking and in soup and fruits and veggies like has been mentioned. So my point is those fluids really count. Whatever your mom likes to eat, if she likes to eat, make it with as much fluid as possible. If she doesn't like to eat there is medication to increase her appetite if that seems appropriate. My aunt drinks most of her liquids as coffee also. She drinks a half caffeine coffee from her local grocer. When I first started drinking it with her it would leave me still wanting coffee because the caffeine was so reduced. So if you decide to cut hers, do it slowly so she won't miss the boost she got from it. I'm hoping she drinks it black or light and not with sugar. What does her doctor say about her salt intake? Salt makes her body hold onto the fluid that she does consume. So limit the salt. Actually it's best to not add any to her food. If she eats out or eats any prepackaged or canned food she's probably getting too much salt. Again if she is used to a high sodium diet you'll have to figure out how to adjust it for her taste. The key is when she gets off of salt don't confuse her taste buds with occasional salty food. It will make her regular food taste too bland. Every little thing you can do helps. Even if you just cut out the worst offenders it will help. The all important exercise can make a difference. Even a short walk around the house. Leg lifts etc. You might ask your dr to order physical or occupational therapy. The increased activity can improve mood, bowels etc. Have you considered depression? Does your dr talk about dialysis? Or is it time for hospice? Have a candid talk with your doctor if you haven't already and ask what the progression of her current condition looks like. If coffee is all she will drink I would be thinking more coffee is better than less fluid? Small thoughtful changes can make it easier on both of you. Have that talk with the dr. If she isn't qualified for hospice ask for the therapy and a class with a dietician so someone qualified can help you with your moms total list of health conditions. Remember your mom may be doing as well as she can. Watch your energy when you are around her and have a nice visit each day without critiquing her or warning her when you are pushing the water. Sometimes we get caught up in an issue with our loved ones and we make it worse. We get afraid of losing them, afraid of not doing all we can to hold onto them and forget to enjoy the journey. Hugs to you both.
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Note- I got the Bai drinks from our local Publix grocery store. They come in small bottles and are a little over $2.00 a bottle, but sooo worth it. cadams
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With Sjogrens Syndrome, Mom developed an AVERSION to good ol' H20.

It's part of the disease.

I prepare a gallon of............. well, today it was Iced tea. This is for the 3 of us. Made a sign that says: Let's drink!

It varies, lemonade, grape, punch, orange. All sugar free.

I have no problem drinking water. But my two loves do.

I'm going to look for the one suggested above. Health food store or ?....

M 8 8
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Crickett, your mom might be trying to avoid liquids so she does not have to pee - or, maybe it hurts to swallow and a course of an acid blocker might work for her. A lot of people won't verbalize about heartburn or tell you it hurts to swallow. She might even have teeth that hurt with anything cold.
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Does she have swallowing issues? Would the doctor have objections to watermelon, canteloupe, apples, and other water-based foods as a portion of the minimum (3- 16.9 fluid oz bottles a day) water requirement?

My dad hated the idea of drinking more water, but watermelon is one of his favorite foods, so he was happy to start eating the watermelon. Same with canteloupe. His average overnight urinary output went from about 600 to 1,100 in no time!
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It took me 5 long years to find something my mom would drink as she had an aversion to water. Finally, I tried the beverages from the brand name of Bai. Bingo. She drinks it ALL the time now. Hurray! They have several flavors. I get mom the brasilia blueberry as she likes blueberries. Also, I give her watermelon when in season. She likes that and enjoys it. Finally.....the "water battle" is a thing of the past....... cadams
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Bless your heart, i know how frustrating it is. Mom (88) currently recuperating from major shoulder replacement surgery will not eat, and reluctantly drinks. She clamps her mouth shut and turns her head, even when i try to spoon feed her. So i should say, she's "reluctantly recuperating...." Jola11 - those are some grand suggestions ~ especially since your Mom is eating. Giving her mostly water-based foods to nosh on [like cucumber spears, celery, and the others listed] is fabulous. Have your tried [sp] ensure - helps with protein and electrolytes and Mom [used to] love the strawberry flavor. Comes in chocolate and vanilla, too. Coupons available online. It's a good idea to bond over sip-to-sip conversations :) as suggested by SonomaRose. My mom seems to be repulsed by jello, pudding, yogurt, any food of any kind. i'm at my wit's end and there's still no answer. She does drink ginger ale [flat, no cold] about 8oz over 3 days, but similar problems with the odor/cloudiness of her urine. i don't understand the reluctance to eat ... it's going on 3-1/2 weeks, and her drinking is getting less. i had to leave the NH/Rehab facility yesterday before i lost it. The *** aid told her to "wet her briefs" because she was too "busy" passing out ice water to assist Mom to the lav. My Mum can't balance and she has only one arm to use... and they tell her to wet herself! Yes, i had words with the staff supervisor before leaving, but i'm not getting through to my Mom whatsoever. Her mouth is so dry her tongue sticks to the roof of her mouth, and she's getting nose bleeds. Nurses don't seem to care..... But my experience with Mom and ice water -- it causes her throat/esophagus to clam up tight and she chokes. Room temp water/beverages or food goes down much more palatable and comfortably. No coughing/choking sounds. Perhaps melted/thawed ice cream or frozen yogurt ~ or try shakes -- spike them with protein powder if appropriate, okay? [If you don't have time, even those from TimeHorton McD etc are fine. Blessings ~ please keep us posted. Many are facing similar troubles with the GI/eating topic. ty & hugs ~
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If your loved one has lost a lot of weight please be aware that "ice cold" water can actually cause a lot of pain as swallowed. I know from both personal experience and caring for my beloved Grandparents who had this problem and now with bil who has lost weight.
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How about ice pops, also I've heard mixed some Pedialyte half with water. Helps with electrolytes as well
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Add a little Crysty Lite for flavor.
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I have found that sucralose, which the body doesn't absorb (that's why it's listed as non-nutritive) can cause loose bowels. Stevia is safer.
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Lyndee? There is a candy I like that is mildly cofee flavor and it is made with zylitol. So it is actually good for teeth. I don't work for the company or know anyone that does. I saw it on shark tank. It is Ice Ch###. Just google it. I wonder if she has the candy that water might be more appealing. The candy comes in different sized pieces. I understand that choking is always a concern with the elderly and I'm sure you already keep that in mind. My mom who is in her 80s doesn't like to drink either. It is a minor battle everyday.
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One thing that sometimes worked for us was to just always have water available, like on the table at a restaurant. Keep the glass small, lightweight and not overly full, so that it is super easy to handle. Try sitting with her for a chat and have a glass of water, similar to hers, for you. Don't even mention the water, but take sips from yours while you are talking with her. This resulted in my loved one reaching for and drinking some water on her own, without a fight...
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Iced cold water is your best bet.
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I have to disagree with the person who wrote that what will be will be, etc.

Both my parents were not drinking enough water for years. No amount of asking them to drink more water was helping nor explaining why, over and over, that it was important they drink enough water. My mom didn't drink enough water mainly cause (like me) she just doesn't enjoy drinking water. My dad didn't drink enough water because he insisted he didn't want more trips to the bathroom cause it's so hard for him to get around.

What has worked since around 2013: For Dad:
1) keeping watermelon on hand when it's in season (his favorite food) and having canteloupe for breakfast as much as possible for the rest of the year, which he likes almost as much as watermelon.
2) offering other beverages he likes at meals or before bed--grape or OJ at breakfast, apple juice at lunch, a cup of cocoa at before bed (helps him sleep), decaf coffee at breakfast, etc.
3) adding more vegetables to his lunch menu
4) asking him to drink his entire 8 oz bottle of water with his morning med because his 'energy' pill (Synthroid/levothyroxine) has instructions to take it with a FULL glass of water, and
5) (probably most importantly) reminding him that drinking enough water will aid in him having regular bowel movements instead of being constipated because it helps push the BM out.

For my mom what worked was:
1) purchasing those little 8-oz bottles of water and labeling one with her name in the frig and then putting one in front of her at breakfast and lunch,
2) reminding her that the more she drinks, the better her skin looks AND fewer problems with constipation,
3) typing up a list of reasons she should be drinking at least 16 oz of water daily (i.e. her extremely dry eyes that were causing her pain, possible kidney stones according to ultrasound, her AM thyroid med that's supposed to be taken with a full glass of water, better bladder health, and so on, and keeping that typed list in the kitchen to refer to as a memory aid.
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I live in UK so not sure how easy this is for you to get. I have problems drinking enough water, I don't like tea, coffee, soda's or fruit juice but I do drink Herbal/Fruit tea. Hot and cold. I put a tea bag in my water bottle. Make it into ice cubes/popsicles (ice lollies here). Can be made with fizzy water too.
I can't drink from cup/mug if my mouth is filled with liquid I feel as though I'm drowning so I use a sports bottle (changed every couple of days).
Hope these ideas might help someone.
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Well I hate to say this but I only got my dad to drink water by taking AWAY coffee and Ensure. He almost starved himself to death eating nothing but candy and Ensure before I moved in with him. There's way too much sugar in the Ensure and if they will eat food, they don't need it. I couldn't get my dad to eat until I took most of his sugar away from him. Then he was hungry for real food. I told a white lie about the water......he has a rectal ulcer that bleeds badly if he gets constipated so he needs to keep his stool soft. I put a neutral fiber powder in water and measure it out to him in a covered cup with a straw. I keep it filled up until the measured amount is gone. I remind him that the "doctor" said he has to drink all in the glass each day before nighttime. I do have to remind him to "work on your water" several times a day, but he does get it down. I rationed his decaf coffee to 6 oz in morning, a cup at lunch and 6 oz at supper. Again I told him it was too acidic and the "doctor" said it would upset his ulcer. His last bleeding incident scared him so bad that this works for me. He is so much better now, physically, than he was 2 years ago when I moved in. Sometimes you just have to be creative, but if she still respects her doctor, try reminding her WHAT the water will do for her as you try to get her to drink it. You might try a smaller glass too. I've got an 8 oz one with a top that has bears on it (he likes them) with a straw. It stays right beside him. I also make him take all his medications with the water instead of juice or Ensure(when he was getting it). Good luck. You really have to get creative to make these things work sometimes.
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Have the doctors told YOU or HER that she needs to drink water? I had the same problem with my Aunt. For years, she drank massive amounts of coffee but maybe 1/2 glass of water a day and absolutely would not listen about how vital water is to our bodies. By the time she came to live with me she had stopped drinking all that coffee but was still not drinking but about 1/2 cup of water. She had only been living with me 2 weeks when I had to take her to ER for constipation (my learning curve), followed by a trip to her primary doc. It took the doc telling her how important the water was and now she drinks about 6-8oz glasses a day. It's still a challenge and I have to remind her constantly but she will drink it. Other than that, I tried everything like you did to no avail. Wish I had some answers for you but hope the thing about the doc helps.
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There are such great ideas here!

My dad also does not like drinking water very much either. This has only been going on about 3 or four weeks though, since the last time he got out of the hospital. Too bad your mom doesn't like lemonade! It made my dad want to drink more (still not as much as I want him to drink, though) and it turned his urine from dark to clear. If you decide to give her coffee, make sure it's decaf!!! Dad can already stay awake and roam up and down the hallway for 72 hours straight. My dad drank LOTS of coffee before he became ill the last time, now his tastes have suddenly changed and I'm still learning what they are. He is leaving his coffee untouched, then asks for more an hour after he pours it out but I then give him lemonade. No more coffee for him for awhile! We always have to stay on our toes!!!

With Mom, the best way to get her to drink more is to tell her it's for my dad. Dad loves sugar and he is not diabetic. Mom is diabetic and SAYS she doesn't like sugar, but she is always sneaking it. I will make a gallon of (decaffeinated) tea and sweeten it with sucralose, then tell her it's for dad. She will drink it up when she thinks I'm not looking and tell me Dad did it. As for my dad, if I tell him it's unsweetened, he won't drink it. I'm forever racking my brain to try and keep those two healthy.

My dad's latest problems began when he was put on 2mg of risperdone. On top of all the other side effects, I believe it's the risperdone that has changed his eating and drinking habits. He is still recovering but I believe it has accelerated his Alzheimer's by about eight months. I don't blame the doctor though. She was just trying to find SOMETHING that would help him rest. Maybe it works for some people, but definitely not for my dad; and he's still recovering.

Sorry for rambling, but sometimes we have to make sure we find out if our loved one needs a change in medication to help their eating and drinking habits. If I had read about the possible side effects of Risperdone on Alzheimer's patients, I would not have given it to him. :(
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My 82 year old mother in law is in the hospital right now for dehydration. Her blood pressure shot up and she passed out. Now they are giving her fluids via a tube. We have told her over and over again to drink more water but she always had an excuse. Hopefully this hospital stay will encourage her to stay hydrated.
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We have trouble betting the folks to enjoy their water. They are in AL so they get reminded plenty to drink it, but that doesn't equate to liking it all that much.
Thanks for this thread. Reasons I had not thought of, and things to try that I had not thought of!! Gives me more choices and better understanding, to boot!!
Thank you all!!
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I will keep all these GREAT suggestions and apply them. Thank you all again for answering my questions!!!! :)
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Does she like watermelon?
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I too had this same problem with my 90 year old mother. I finally figured it out...I started buying her the small 8 ounce bottles of water from Costco. She now drinks plenty, in fact will open one & drink it in a matter of minutes without even thinking about it. Yesterday when I left her from a visit, she asked me to get 4 bottles & sit on her table by her chair. I think the small bottles are easier to hold & not so overwhelming. If cost is a problem...buy a case & simply refill them.
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It just occurred to me that you might want to check and make sure she isn't avoiding drinking because of swallowing problems. Sometimes problems swallowing thin liquids is the first sign of trouble in that area. Hot beverages like coffee are usually taken in small sips and can cause less trouble than cold beverages.
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Have you tried changing the kind of container your mother uses? My mother uses a wine glass for her water, with a little food coloring in it. It has been the best solution to getting her to drink more water that I've come up with.
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Popsicles worked for me with my late mom. Home-made, I used watered down juices, watermelons, and even iced coffee and tea which she loved. I also kept a glass with ice chips or cubes, of water or the juices, and she would partake during the commercials of her soap operas. I figured at least 8 oz. went down as she watched, since I kept replenishing. Also, remember that broth and homemade chicken soup is recognized as comfort food for many folks. Some people just prefer savory as apposed to sweet.
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Lyndee since Our Elders do not sweat much They desire very little water. I'd suggest try giving Your Mum coffee, but reduce the measure. By drinking lots of liquids it would help eliminate the UT's.
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Lyndee since Our Elders do not sweat much They desire very little water. I'd suggest try giving Your Mum coffee, but reduce the measure. By drinking lots of liquids it would help eliminate the UT's.
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Thank you everybody for your wisdom and experience behind your answers in helping me help my Mom.

I'm so very glad and grateful for this website in helping me cope with seemingly impossible situations that continue to "pop up" rendering me dumb founded at best in knowing what to do. May God bless all of you and your families and loved ones!!!
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