Even a little bit of dehydration can be dangerous for your aging family member. But convincing him to drink more water might be a war in the making.
Determine How Much Water Is Enough
Everybody needs a different amount of water to stay healthy. There are general guidelines that float around, but there is a lot of difference between someone young and active and an older adult with specific health issues. Your senior needs to talk to his doctor about how much water is right for him. The answer might cheer him up a bit.
Does She Drink Other Beverages?
Are there other beverages besides pure water that your senior is willing to drink? Pure water is the best alternative, but you can work with some of the other beverage options. Carbonated beverages, even sparkling water, might not be a great choice if they’re irritating to his system. But beverages without caffeine, like herbal teas, might be something he’ll drink a little more often.
Is He Waiting to Feel Thirsty?
Something else to consider is whether your elderly family member is waiting to feel thirsty before he actually drinks. The problem with that is many aging adults lose their thirst urge or it changes a bit. So, he might be dehydrated, but not thirsty. Sipping water or other beverages regularly can help with this.
How Water Is Presented Sometimes Matters
The container can make a difference, believe it or not. If your senior prefers a specific glass or style of water bottle, it’s worth the effort to make that available for him to drink from. If he doesn’t have a favorite right now, see if you can figure out what makes water most palatable for him. Some people prefer water when it’s room temperature, while others prefer it to be ice cold. Different water containers can help to make that happen for him.
Use Food Alternatives to Boost Water Intake
Water doesn’t have to come from beverages only. Food contains water, too, especially fruits, like melons and berries. Cucumbers and other vegetables also contain a great deal of water. Or perhaps your senior prefers soup to sip on at lunch or in the afternoon. All of these options can help with keeping him hydrated.
There’s a lot to keep up with when you’re trying to make sure your senior is as hydrated as possible. Elderly care providers can help both of you to keep everything on track and to make sure your senior is getting the water he needs.