Elderly care encompasses many essential aspects; among these, maintaining proper hydration plays a vital role. Residents at our assisted living community, Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon, are given special attention regarding hydration.
Why is hydration crucial in elderly care? Studies suggest that dehydration can impact cognitive functions and overall performance in individuals. As people age, the body’s thirst detection mechanism often declines, which means they might only consume sufficient fluids if prompted. This issue is even more pronounced once an individual reaches 60 years or older. We anticipate these needs at Residential Plaza and proactively ensure our residents maintain their hydration levels.
Adults over 19, including the elderly, should ideally consume 2.5 liters (for men) and 2 liters (for women) of water daily. However, aging and certain medications can influence these requirements and could lead to imbalances with significant health implications. Dehydration symptoms among older adults might include headaches, urinary tract infections, low blood pressure, confusion, seizures, and increased heart rate.
There are several reasons why elderly adults could be more susceptible to dehydration. Typically, a person between 60 and 80 has 10% less body water than a 30-year-old. Other factors include the side effects of medications, changes in body temperature regulation and water content, weakened kidney functions, reduced thirst, and pre-existing health conditions such as mobility issues and difficulties in swallowing or understanding.
Dehydration might manifest through altered mental states like confusion or apathy, and increased falls, and contrary to younger adults, dry skin and mucous membranes aren’t reliable dehydration indicators in older adults.
At Residential Plaza, our attentive caregivers ensure the well-being of our residents through recommended diets, physical activity, and hydration measures. Regularly offering fluids throughout the day, maintaining a light diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and juices, avoiding sun exposure, and maintaining a cool and ventilated environment are some measures we employ.
We also emphasize light-colored clothing, avoid diuretics without medical advice, and facilitate their fluid consumption by introducing them to hydration-friendly diets. Increasing the intake of foods like soups, fruits, and vegetables that contain 80%-90% water also helps as these are a source of essential nutrients.
Alcohol is generally discouraged due to its dehydrating effects. Additionally, given that older adults might lose their thirst sensation, we stress the importance of regular fluid intake, even when they don’t feel thirsty.
Healthcare professionals point out that weakening the immune system in older adults makes them even more vulnerable to dehydration. Therefore, it is vital to consult a doctor immediately if any mental state alterations are noticed. Swift intervention in a dehydrated patient can prevent severe conditions.
At Residential Plaza at Blue Lagoon, we aim to provide the best-assisted living experience for our residents. We ensure they feel valued and cherished by offering personalized attention and treating each resident individually. For more information, visit our website at www.residentialplaza.com
Remember, in elderly care, hydration isn’t just important – it’s essential.