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Hi all. I take care of my 80 year old mom who has Alzheimer's. I had a tough time keeping her hydrated last summer. Any tips on hydration? Thanks!

Gatorade is good for hydration. I give it to my mom half water and half Gatorade, but you can give it straight. There are various flavors.
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Reply to MariaDinis
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I found a product at CostCo called Liquid In that is a hydration multiplier, electrolyte drink mix. I add it to my 80 yr old mother's water bottle with a squirt of Mio and it had really helped. Also, it was recommended by her Dr that Gatorade and Powerade will help. Mom gets about 6oz most days. Smaller portions helps.
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Reply to TryingTerrie
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My mom being incontinent, she didn't want to drink a lot. So we gave her lots of jello, she loved jello. Sometimes something as simple as a slice of lemon in her water, and fruits like watermelon (like everyone has mentioned) and pineapple. Of course being down here in Texas, I would offer her iced tea with lemon. Juices are great, especially cranberry and apple (her favorites). Have you thought of bringing her slushies or snow cones? Or freeze juices in icecube trays and put them in her water. Or we would give my mom canned fruits -- peaches, pears, fruit cocktails. In season, when the prices weren't high, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, grapes. Hope this helps.
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Reply to MaryLou88
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It might be worth looking at a ‘camel bak’ or ‘hydration pack’, the names I know for a water back pack that cyclists wear so that they can suck sips of water hands free. There is a tube that can attach to a helmet, or probably to spectacles or hearing aids, even to a chair head rest. Some cyclists keep it in their mouth all the time like a cigarette. If part of the problem is keeping the glass filled, or the action of raising the glass to the mouth, this might help. The whole pack could attach to the back of a chair or the side of a bed. They hold about 2 litres, and it doesn’t have to be water.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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I believe drinks containing beer are not a good idea. While the drinks suggested may increase liquid intake, they will be excreted rapidly, and will leave your mother more dehydrated than she would have been with no beverage! I have read in several sources that it's a bad idea to drink beer when you're hot and thirsty because you may ultimately be dehydrated from the alcohol.
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Reply to caroli1
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Popsicles?? Jello??   even jello shots (without the liquor :)
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Reply to Myownlife
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Wonderful suggestions.
I find that a plain electrolyte water like Smart Water has been extremely helpful when I sense she may be dehydrated. (Check with your physician as some products contain additional vitamins and minerals).
Jello has been a great way to get fruit and juice into Mom’s diet.
Giving her water to sip before every meal and snack is helpful. i.e. “Take a sip and then I’ll bring your lunch.”
Giving her small glasses of water makes it less of an overwhelming task for her. I also get better cooperation.
Putting Mom’s water into a small pitcher at the start of the day also helped me keep track of what she consumed.
And, if salt intake is not an issue, giving a salty snack can increase thirst. Salt and sugar are also the basic elements, along with water, in oral hydration. It’s a standard preparation used around the world to treat dehydration from diarrhea and illness: siteresources.worldbank.org/INTHSDEP/Resources/1148855-1430226362890/Oral_Rehydration_Solutions.pdf
And, remember to stay hydrated yourself. I focus so much on Mom that I forget all about myself.
Best of luck to you!
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Reply to Gardens
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I second the idea of watermelon, 95% water. My wife loves it. Slice in thin pieces if you can, leaving the rind on to use as a handle, (great for picnics or other outdoor activity that way too) or else cut up in small pieces to be eaten with a fork.
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Reply to Johnny13
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My dad was a dr & he taught us to gently pinch the skin on the back of the hand so that it comes to a peak about 1/2 inch high - let it go & if the person is well hydrated it will go down fairly fast - if it holds the peak for a while then the person is dehydrated & get them something to drink ASAP - if it goes down slowly then they also need to get something to drink soon -

With someone with loose skin you may need to get a base line so that you know what is their normal - FYI ... this works well with kids too - it is a simple test that can be done repeatedly throughout the day - I have even done it with my pointing & middle fingers so that they won't know you're testing them but it takes a bit of practice that way - start on yourself right now

My mom will down a 12 oz diet ice tea in less than 8 minutes but I present it to her as a treat -

I find commercial lemonade too sweet so I add more water & a generous squeeze of realemon juice so it is quite tart -

You can buy pineapple juice & freeze it in ice cube trays so it adds flavour as it melts & other juices too so that the water has some substance towards the end - maybe a small piece of fruit in the ice cube to catch their attention
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Reply to moecam
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First be sure she drinks through a straw you take in less air than drinking from a cup.
Offer her popsicles to help keep her hydrated.
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Reply to Baileyparker
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If she wont knock it over you might always keep a bottle of water nearby. My favourite now is a pint size plastic jar with a straw coming out of its cover. I keep it filled and refrigerate often or buy two. I got mine at SUNY Albany which they use wit the athletes and students.
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Reply to Jetbat
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You can buy water additives too. I buy a brand called Styr at Safeway. They are little bottles that you can squirt into a glass or bottle of water. As strong or weak as you like. Sweetened with Stevia so no sugar. Stevia is supposed to NOT raise blood sugar levels. Several flavors. Mine is Fruit Punch.
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Reply to Janny61
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Thank you, all! I've never heard of Outshine, but I will def be getting some now!
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Reply to Campis
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I was gonna say outshine also!! Coconut watermelon and pineapple seem to b house favs(my kids like em too win,win!)
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Reply to INEEDALIFE80
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Any fruit juice
Iced tea, or I happen to like what I call "half cut" half sweet tea and half plain.
Don't forget soup hot or cold for lunch and or dinner.
Salads
Ice cream, sherbet
Jello , pudding
applesauce
fruit of almost any kind.

But if she is not out and sweating a lot it might not be as difficult as you think.
Sounds strange but check urine color, if it is dark then she needs more fluids if it is light or clear she is fine. Odor may also be an indicator, strong = concentrated, weak = diluted.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Outshine pomegranate and lime my favorites! Mmmmm.

There are flavorings without sugar that can be added to water. Mio is one. Does she like Gatorade?
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Reply to gladimhere
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Ice cream, sorbets (check out Outshine, sorbet pops on a stick - they are superior!), puddings, Jello: these are all hydrating, they have flavor, and remember liquids do not always have to be in the form of drink!
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Reply to GenKazdin
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My mom is insulin-dependent and she refuses to drink water, but she loves chocolate soy milk and I put more chocolate mix in it. yes it is full of sugar but I don't care she's drinking. Despite this her A1C is still below 7.5. She also LOVES green tea. Japanese green tea tastes best. It helps keep her up during the day and she sleeps all night. I won't give her any green tea after 6 pm. So with these things I manage to keep her hydrated and she's almost 89 years old with end stage Alzheimer's. If I worry about her diabetes she won't drink at all and that will send her to the hospital. You also must be VERY patient. It takes her along time to swallow liquids.
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Reply to cetude
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Remember all fruits (and veggies) are mostly water, include lots in her meals. Unless diabetes is an issue keep on hand any kind of beverage she will drink , even "unhealthy" ones and keep an insulated cup by her hand all day - encourage her to take sips often. Popsicles and ices are good too.

Keep the temperature at a reasonable level so she isn't sweating.

Review her medications to be sure they aren't a contributing factor, for example diuretics/fluid pills may need to be adjusted.
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Reply to cwillie
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Seedless Watermelon. And think of it outside of being just fruit.
You slice it round & slightly thinner and becomes the base for “pizza” with cold toppings or the base for an opened face sandwich. You can do these in advance as they will hold a day or two.

And if she’s bored with water and she needs weight, substitute w/one of those summer fruit beers. Like Abita (I’m in New Orleans) has a Strawberry Lager that isn’t at all “beer” tasting at 4%. But still beer so she’ll pee it out.

You know many years ago when first starting the aging adventure with my mom at one of her gerontology visits, her MD & I got to talking and she said that the sign of spring was the increase in men getting admitted into the ER as invariably they were out working in the yard, got dehydrated and did this couple of days in a row, passed out and into the ER. Then admitted, rehydrated and released. Only to repeat the pattern. Near to impossible to retrain them to drink more....
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Reply to igloo572
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