The fastest growing demographic in the United States is older adults. Not only are people living a lot longer than they used to, but they’re also staying independent and active longer than ever before. It’s a demographic that has unique health needs, and included in those is the need to stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated isn’t at the top of most older adults health and nutrition needs, but if ignored it can have serious negative health effects. Water is a critical nutrient throughout our lifespan; not only helping support the metabolic process, but it also helps with everything from weight loss to cognitive performance.
The importance of water doesn’t diminish as we age. Our bodies continue to need water, but older adults tend to experience less thirst, and are prone to drinking less water, even though their recommended daily fluid intake does not decrease. Also, older adults tend to be on more medications, which can lead to dehydration.
Here are some hydration tips for older adults that can help keep them healthy and active:
- Because thirst is a poor indicator of hydration status for older adults, encourage them to sip water continuously throughout the day.
- Keep a water bottle nearby, both while at home and when on the go. Studies show that the mere availability of water helps older adults increase their water intake.
- Take proactive steps to ensure that they meet their daily goals for water and fluid intake.
- Snack on foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, grapefruit, cucumber, and celery.
- Find out if the older adult in your care likes his or her water cold or room temperature. Serving a drink at a preferred temperature will increase the likelihood of it being consumed.
Thirst is a poor indicator of hydration status for older adults, so how best can they regulate their water consumption without this helpful internal cue? The best way to combat dehydration is to help older adults prevent it in the first place. Older adults shouldn’t wait until they are thirsty to drink water. In fact, dehydration can occur long before older adults actually feel thirsty. Encourage them to make hydration a priority regardless of thirst.
Just because older adults don’t get as thirsty as they once did, it doesn’t mean their bodies don’t need to stay hydrated! Even if it’s just one extra glass of water a day, they will feel and function a lot better.
Premium Waters can provide a safe, consistent, reliable source of drinking water. Whether it’s individual bottled water brands, a water cooler, or a filtration system, Premium Waters has the right option for your home and lifestyle.