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Tips to Prevent Dehydration in Seniors

Seniors are more vulnerable to dehydration due to having lower fluid content in the body, reduced sensation of thirst as well as inadequate water intake. Certain medications or medical conditions can also lead to dehydration.

Recognizing the symptoms of dehydration is important so you can work to replenish lost fluids. Be aware of symptoms such as feeling lightheaded, fatigued, dry mouth, and having dark-colored urine.

Here are some tips to help prevent dehydration:

  • Consuming water-rich foods in your diet will help you stay hydrated.  Some examples of foods with higher water content are watermelon, tomato, spinach, cucumber, oranges, and low sodium broths or soups.
  • If it is hard for you to drink a lot of water at once, try taking small sips throughout the day. Other beverages that may also help with hydration include milk and juices that are low in sugar. Tea and coffee should be consumed in moderation as they are diuretics and can cause dehydration.
  • If you don’t find water very appealing, try a flavored sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime.
  • If you plan to be outside for a long period of time or live in a hot and humid climate start hydrating the day before and be sure to have water with you at all times.
  • If you are sick your body will lose fluid rapidly.  If you have symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, it is important to drink more liquid than you would normally consume.

Talk to your doctor about how much water you should be drinking and if any medications need to be adjusted (such as diuretics) to ensure you are staying properly hydrated.