What Should Your Elderly Parent Know About Caffeine?
March 24, 2020
The National Coffee Association states that elderly adults consume more coffee than all other age groups. If your elderly parent consumes a lot of caffeine, whether that is from coffee or other beverages or foods, they should be aware of what the caffeine is doing to their body. There are some side effects of consuming too much caffeine. This is especially true for senior citizens.
The Mayo Clinic states that the consumption of over 500 milligrams of caffeine each day could cause serious dehydration. This would amount to around 6 cups of coffee a day. Most sources state that elderly adults should be drinking less than 3 cups of coffee every day if they want to prevent dehydration.
Most people who consume a lot of caffeine will feel very jittery throughout the day. They will feel like they can’t sit still or calm their mind. They may start pacing or wandering around. This can be harmful to elderly adults, especially those who have dementia. Since they might not be able to remember how to get back home, wandering around could get them lost.
Consuming too much caffeine can cause someone to have an upset stomach, as well. The acid from caffeinated beverages will often cause an upset stomach. If your elderly loved one already has stomach issues, this can aggravate those, as well. If caffeine causes your loved one to have an upset stomach, it might be best if they steer clear from drinking it.
Increased Blood Pressure
Caffeine has been shown to increase blood pressure dramatically. While it may only be short-term, this can still be dangerous, especially for those who already have issues with high blood pressure. If your loved one is already getting treatment for high blood pressure, they should probably avoid consuming any beverages or foods that have caffeine in them.
As you read above, caffeine can cause people to become jittery. If your elderly loved one consumes caffeine too late in the day, they may feel full of energy and be unable to sleep. This could cause sleeplessness. Elderly adults who have issues falling or staying asleep are more likely to be drained the following day.
These are some of the things that your elderly parent should know about caffeine. If your parent is consuming too much caffeine, make sure they know about these dangers and see if you or their elder care providers can help them cut down on their caffeine consumption.
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