The Importance of Hydration for Older Adults

As we get older, the water in our body decreases by 15% (about 6L) which means that for older adults small fluctuations in fluid intake can be highly problematic. Other risk factors such as a decreased sense of thirst, reduced swallowing capability, mobility limitations, reduced kidney function and cognitive decline can also increase the risk of dehydration.

Home Care, Caregiver, Hydration, Dehydration

Severe dehydration can be a serious condition requiring hospitalisation and is associated with:

It is recommended that women over 70 consume 2.1L of fluid per day and men over 70 consume 3.4L of water per day, with 25% of this coming from foods. But being in a hot climate, exercise, diarrhoea, sweating, vomiting and certain diets could indicate a need for a higher fluid intake.  

Some ways to increase fluid intake include:

  • Ensuring fluids are available at all times during the day
  • Establishing and providing preferred fluids
  • Ensuring water is fresh and looks palatable
  • Incorporating fluids into routines – such as a full glass of water with medications
  • Offering hot and cold drinks
  • Assistance where needed 

If you or a loved one need help with maintaining good Hydration a community nurse can test for dehydration and can offer tips and strategies, while a carer can assist with keeping fluid intake consistent. Check a wide variety of In Home Care Services and find the care you need to keep you healthy.

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