As the temperatures start to rise it becomes more and more important to check that our elderly are drinking sufficient water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Many elderly people today still don’t drink sufficient fluids and certainly not water. However, there are a few tips to help maintain their fluid levels.
- Add sugar-free cordial or squash to a large glass of water
- Encourage them to eat more water-containing fruits such as melon
- Make a jelly for them
- Make some thin soup
It is a good idea when you visit an elderly person to ask “What have you had to drink today ?”
Many older people lose the need to drink as much. If they suffer from incontinence they may fear drinking more will make the situation worse. It is the opposite in fact.
Good hydration in the elderly reduces fatigue, urine infections and confusion in some cases. It is also important when visiting someone elderly in hospital or care home environment to ensure they have access to fluids and the jug is not empty or out of reach if bed bound.
A persons urine indicates the level of hydration and although you may not see it, it needs to be a pale straw colour. This is a good indicator for the elderly to be able to monitor if they still need to drink more.
In an elderly person you can tell by gently taking two fingers and pinching the skin on the back of their hand. If the skin does not resume its shape the person is likely to be dehydrated.