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.
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:
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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