Does Your Parent Really Need Eight Glasses of Water a Day?
June 14, 2017As a family caregiver you know how vitally important it is for your senior to stay hydrated. The human body is approximately 60 percent water and virtually every system and function in the body requires water. Dehydration can lead to a wide variety of disruptive symptoms including fatigue, headache, foggy headedness, confusion, irritability, and difficulty losing weight. Experts estimate that approximately 75 percent of people throughout the United States are living with chronic dehydration due to either not drinking enough hydrating fluids or consuming too many beverages with caffeine or alcohol and eating too much sodium. One of the questions that you might have when it comes to keeping your senior hydrated is whether the old adage “8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day” is really true. For many people, this amount of water can seem daunting and unrealistic, and it might seem as though they would never be able to drink that much throughout the day. Fortunately, this might not be something that they need to attempt. According to the Mayo Clinic, the average healthy adult in a temperate climate needs between 9 and 13 cups of fluid a day. This, however, can vary from person to person. Elderly adults may need less depending on their body mass and their activity. It is also important to note that getting this amount of fluid a day does not necessarily translate to drinking that many cups of water. Other fluids, such as juice, herbal tea, and flavored water also count toward this goal, as does eating foods that are high in water content. Encouraging your senior to eat juicy fruits, soup, and even gelatin can help them to boost their hydration and work them toward them fluid goals. If you have found that your aging loved one’s challenges and limitations are more than you feel that you can handle effectively, your abilities or availability has changed, or you simply feel that your loved one would benefit from more diversification of support and assistance, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. A home care provider can step in to fill any care gaps that might exist and ensure that your loved one is getting everything that they need on a schedule that is customized not just to their needs, but also to your needs as their family caregiver. This can help your elderly parent pursue the active, engaged, safe, healthy, and fulfilling quality of life that they desire and deserve, while also easing your caregiver stress and promoting more independence as your senior ages in place. When it comes to helping your senior to maintain better health with ongoing hydration, this care provider can be extremely supportive. This provider can help your parent understand their need for hydration, monitor your parent for symptoms of dehydration, and help them to make good choices that will remind them to get the hydration they need regularly, such as encouraging them to sip water throughout the day.