Are you getting enough fluids?

Are you getting enough fluids?

Most seniors do not take in enough fluids to keep themselves hydrated.  Dehydration is a common issue with seniors.  Although dehydration is often associated with inadequate fluid intake, it can also be caused by sweating, blood loss, diarrhea, taking fluid pills, or diabetes.

As we age we also do not feel thirst as we once did, hence we consume less water and are more prone to becoming dehydrated.  If left untreated one may require hospitalization or even die.

So what do we need to watch for?     

Some of the mild symptoms to watch out for may include dry mouth, passing small amounts of dark yellow urine, cramping in lower legs, headaches, irritability, sleeplessness or generally just not feeling well.

More severe symptoms include low blood pressure, convulsions, stomach and lower limb cramping, bloated stomach, dry or sunken eyes with no tears, rapid but weak pulse, wrinkled skin, or breathing faster than normal. 

Older adults who drink enough water will tend to be less constipated, have less falls and reduce the risk for certain cancers.    Drinking water also reduces the risk of fatal coronary heart disease.

How to increase intake of fluids?

Adding juices and milk to your meals is a great way to increase intake.  If concerned about calories adding water with lemon may be an alternative.  Experiment with different temperatures of liquids-warm up juices or milk if needed.  Enjoying some warm hot broth soup on a cold day or a popsicle on a hot day is another option.  For older adults that may resist drinking fluids, smoothies or milkshakes may be of interest. 

A couple of useful tips:

Reduce beverages with caffeine as they force the kidneys to excrete more liquids. 

Try the pinch test.   In pinching your skin, if your skin is sluggish you may be dehydrated and may need to try adding some fluids to your day. 

Considering gradual changes, drink more fluids for a healthier life. 


A visit, a lunch and a personalized tour are all great ways to experience Harbour Hill.  Even better, experience a trial stay to truly experience the ambiance of community living.   Connect up with a resident and ask them about their experiences also. 

Harbour Hill Retirement Community offers independent, enhanced, respite and convalescent stays.  We provide complimentary consultations, home visits and personalized orientations.

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