The human body is 70% water, and for that reason, we know that staying well hydrated is absolutely essential to healthy living. That becomes only more true as we age, and our bodies become more sensitive to dehydration. Furthermore, our thirst sensation decreases with age, making seniors far more susceptible to becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration has a direct effect on the heart, kidneys, and brain, and is prevalent in the way we look and feel. It is crucial to be aware of the initial signs of dehydration that our bodies send: lacklustre skin, decreased focus, weak hair and nails, bad breath, and eventually loss of colour. These symptoms are signs that the body does not have enough water to supply all organs, and is a red flag as to the current state of hydration and overall health. After these physical symptoms, a dehydrated senior can be affected by weakness and dizziness, increasing susceptibility to injury by falling – the number one cause of injury to seniors.
The good news is that staying properly hydrated is very easy:
- Keep a chart on the fridge to count the number of glasses per day.
- Eat plenty of hydrating fruits.
- Avoid diuretics such as caffeine and alcohol.
- Always carry a water bottle when out and about.
- Don’t count on thirst – drink a glass every hour, regardless.