Water is a critical part of keeping our bodies healthy. It’s recommended that you drink 64 ounces of water in a day to avoid dehydration. Water helps regulate body temperature, removes toxins and waste, and helps fight off a host of other health problems. 

Dehydration in seniors can lead to a variety of health issues including fatigue, confusion, dry mouth, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, etc. As we age, our sense of thirst diminishes. This makes it more difficult to recognize that your body needs fluid intake which can make it easier to get dehydrated. By the time an elderly person feels thirsty, they may already be dehydrated.

Ways to help seniors stay hydrated:

1. Keep water nearby to avoid dehydration

Keep a bottle of water next to seniors at all times- on a coffee table, night stand, end table. Readily available water will make it convenient to grab. No movement necessary!

2. Add flavor to the water

Add fresh lemon, lime or fruit to mix up the flavor so it doesn’t taste like plain water. 

3. Increase water intake through food

Add vegetables with high water content such as celery, cucumber, zucchini or broccoli. Add soup or broth to meals for additional water intake.

4. Encourage small sips frequently to avoid dehydration

Many older adults can’t sit down and drink a full 8 ounces of water without feeling full or bloated. Small sips frequently throughout the day is a great way to get enough water without the unpleasant side effects. 

5. Make homemade popsicles

Use sugar free juice or a mix of juice and water to keep it healthy.

6. Offer drinks at different temperatures 

Change what is offered frequently. Offer juice or water at different temperatures. Add ice or soda water to mix it up a little.

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