Senior Hydration, Nutrition: part 4

It is estimated that up to 40% of community-dwelling elderly people may be chronically underhydrated. Not helping matters, we are experiencing a very hot, humid summer.

While older adults are at greater risk for dehydration due to temperatures, there are a number of additional causes which can also result in elderly dehyration. Be mindful of the following:

— Spending too long in the sun or high humidity (causes too much sweating)
— A recent illness or diarrhea
— Drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
— Diabetes
— Diuretics and blood pressure medications without adequate liquids

How should seniors, or any adult, stay properly hydrated? Here are some helpful tips.

— Drink a full glass of water with medications
— Make water taste better by adding a slice of lemon
— Keep a water-filled bottle close by to sip on throughout the day (at home and away)
— Have fluids with meals and take sips between bites
— Eat soft foods that contain a lot of water, like custard and yogurt
— Substitute afternoon snacks with low-fat soup or broth

Important to note…not all liquids are hydrating. Some, actually, work against hydration. Special attention should be given to the following:

— Alcoholic drinks, such as hard liquor, beer, and wine. (A good rule of thumb is one glass of water for every alcoholic drink)
— Soda and energy drinks, which can often contain lots of sugar, sodium and caffeine. Drink in moderation
— Milk—even though milk is good for the body, it contains sugar
— Smoothies, which may contain fruit but also have added sugar
— Lemonade because of the added sugar

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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