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How to Get Your Loved One to Drink More Water

Elderly Care in Westwood MA

Senior woman with a glass of waterIt’s no secret that dehydration can be a big problem for seniors. It seems like it should be an easier thing getting them to stay hydrated. But when you think about it, how many of us actually drink as much water as we’re supposed to either? Imagine being told by someone else that we have to drink more.

Dehydration is more than just being thirsty. It’s a common cause of seniors being hospitalized; and it can even result in death. There are any number of health conditions that can result from dehydration, including kidney stones, blood clot complications, dizziness, loss of balance or passing out, delirium, headaches, increased respiratory rate and decreased blood pressure, irregular pulse rate, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, etc. In addition, certain medications won’t work properly unless the patient is properly hydrated.

There may be many reasons why someone doesn’t want to drink plenty of water, including a simple misbelief they’re already getting enough, to not wanting to keep running to the bathroom, especially if they experience leakage or an otherwise weak bladder.

So in performing your care duties, how can you go about making sure that your loved one is getting enough healthy fluids to maintain proper hydration?

  • Use a closed-top container with a straw, so it seems a bit more fun and they’re less likely to spill.
  • Find healthy drinks they will actually enjoy. Fruit juices, herbal teas, sweetened beverages, broth and fat-free or skim milk are great substitutes. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol, as they tend to have the opposite effect, and cause dehydration.
  • Find other sources of hydration. Other foods such as soups, Jell-O, yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding and fruits and vegetables are high in water content. These also provide hydration at different temperatures, so things don’t become boring.
  • Keep water accessible, for instance in a pitcher or carafe. That way they don’t even to keep getting up and going to the refrigerator or faucet.
  • Make or buy popsicles for your loved one. Whether store-bought or homemade, these are a great way to get them to drink more fluids and they can have a variety of flavors.
  • Encourage them to suck on ice chips. It will give them the feeling of eating a snack, yet they’re still getting hydration.
  • If these things fail, offer your loved one milkshakes, malts, sports drinks with electrolytes in them, or something like Ensure or Boost. It will give them some nutrients and still help keep them hydrated in a healthy way.

Of course, while these are merely ideas, you may want to check with your loved one’s doctor before using some of them. For instance, you wouldn’t give a shake or malt on a regular basis to someone who needs to also maintain a decent weight or is already overweight.

The most important thing to remember is some seniors simply feel they’re getting enough water, when they’re not. So remain steadfast and be creative in your efforts. Their health will thank you for it.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073