We all know how important water intake is for our overall health and well-being. Our bodies are around 60% water, and it helps with a number of bodily functions. Brain health, joint health, and waste removal all need enough water to function properly. So how much water should seniors drink each day to keep all these body systems working well?
How Much Water Should a Senior Drink Each Day?
Studies suggest everyone should drink between 56 and 64 ounces of water per day, which works out to between 7 and 8 8-ounce glasses per day. This sounds like a ton of water. Elderly people in particular may be less likely to want to drink large quantities of water so they don’t spend their entire day in the bathroom.
There are some tips and tricks you can use to help your loved one meet the recommended water intake for seniors without feeling like you are spending the entire day nagging them to drink more water.
Offer smaller amounts of water or other fluids more often rather than expecting a senior to drink a large amount of water at one time.
Fill a water bottle that your loved one can sip on throughout the day. Mark the bottle so you can track how many ounces have been drunk and have a visual goal for water intake.
Add some fruit to plain water to make it more palatable and add nutrition at the same time.
Provide a beverage appealing to the senior. You can meet your hydration goals without solely drinking plain, boring water.
Find out if your senior loved one prefers drinking through a straw.
Add water-rich fruit or other foods high in water content (like cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon) to the diet to supplement water intake.
Identify any continence concerns that may be making the senior reluctant to drink. Consider keeping a log of water intake and bathroom visits or incontinence issues.
For a variety of reasons, it is easy for a senior to become dehydrated and not meet their recommended fluid intake for the elderly of 56 ounces per day. Dehydration is dangerous and can happen quicker than you think. Some signs of dehydration to watch out for include:
Feeling very thirsty
Unable to produce tears
Not urinating often enough
Dark-colored urine (ideally, urine should be almost colorless)
Dizziness or lightheadedness
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What About Caffeine?
Studies have shown that while there are other risks associated with drinking too much caffeine - such as increasing the need to urinate, headaches, and insomnia, it does not actually dehydrate you. Water is and will always be the best fluid to drink to meet your minimum fluid intake for the elderly, but at least when it comes to dehydration concerns, you can drink your morning coffee in peace.
Remind your senior loved ones to listen to their bodies. It sounds very obvious, but if they are feeling thirsty, they should drink something.