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Summer Hydration Tips for Seniors

July 8, 2019 | Villa Cathay Blog

Summer in Vancouver means days are longer and sunnier, yet it also means temperatures are on the rise. Having fun under the sun while staying hydrated and healthy is important. Dehydration is one of the most common heat-related illnesses. Young adults naturally lose almost 2.5L of water every-day, but their bodies are better at signaling when they need to replenish. As we age, unfortunately our bodies’ mechanism slow down and we become more susceptible to dehydration.

Seniors in particular are most susceptible to dehydration and here are some reasons why:

  • Their bodies’ ability to conserve water is reduced.
  • One can lose their sense of thirst and not drink enough water.
  • Perspiring less makes it harder to keep cool during high temperatures.
  • Regular medication in-take may increase urination; thus, decreasing water levels in body.
  • Problems with urinary continence may make them not want to drink as much water.

What is Dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough fluids within its cells or blood vessels. Some signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to, decreased urine output, low blood pressure, irritability, dizziness, confusion, headaches, weakness, etc. It is a general recommendation that individuals drink 1500-2000ml of water a day. At Villa Cathay, we take every measure to ensure that seniors stay hydrated during the hotter summer temperatures. For example:

  1. The interdisciplinary team members provide a minimum of 1500ml of fluid per day to the residents. We offer and encourage residents to take more fluids during meals and snack times.
  2. Our Registered Dietitian collaborates with the interdisciplinary team to monitor the vital signs of our residents on a regular basis. Our staff are trained to recognize the signs of heat illness and follow the proper procedures in case of an emergency.

Easy Tips to Stay Hydrated

Below we offer some helpful tips on staying healthy and hydrated so that you and your loved one can enjoy the summer days as well:

  1. Regularly check the weather forecast and heat alert information.
  2. Make sure seniors are dress for the weather in lighter and cooler material when possible.
  3. Regularly encourage and remind your loved one to drink more water throughout the day. Seniors might not want to consume the fluid so offer it in smaller amounts to better entice them.
  4. Switch it up! Let them try flavored water, sparkling water, or juices.
  5. Provide seniors with foods that have high water content, fruits or vegetables. Cucumber, tomato, and watermelon are great choices. It is nutrtious and an easy way for them to absorb water..
  6. Keep seniors in a well ventilated and temperature regulated area and avoid over exposure to the sun and heat.
  7. Recognize the signs of a heat illness and call 911 in case of an emergency.

Let’s enjoy summer in a healthy and hydrated way with our seniors. After all, there aren’t very many days that Vancouver is not raining!

 

Resources:

  1. https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/abk5466
  2. https://www.comfortkeepers.ca/the-importance-of-staying-hydrated-for-seniors-and-elders/
  3. https://www.comfortkeepers.ca/senior-dehydration-dangers-canadas-seniors-ways-prevent/

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