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Tips to Prevent Dehydration in Senior Adults in the Summer Heat

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For seniors and the elderly, summer can be dangerous to their health because the heat and humidity poses the threat of dehydration. It’s critical to drink enough liquids to avoid heat-related illnesses. 

Maintaining proper hydration is vital for senior and elderly health. Proper hydration helps regulate body temperature, protects vital organs, and promotes healthy skin.

Signs or symptoms of dehydration that may lead to heat-related illness in seniors and elderly can range from being tired or easily confused, to sunken eyes, and dry skin and cracked lips. Other common symptoms include frequent urinary tract infections and having dark urine in small quantities.

Contact a doctor if you have these signs or symptoms.

To maintain proper hydration during the hot summer months, follow these tips:

  1. Stay indoors to keep cool — Have your air conditioning set at a reasonable level and enjoy keeping cool. 
  2. Drink cold water frequently throughout the day — During the heat of summer, your body sweats more. It’s vital that you replace the fluids you lose to sweat to ensure proper hydration. Keep cold water nearby and drink frequently throughout the day.
  3. Skip the alcohol and caffeinated drinks — Habit’s can be hard to break, but alcohol and caffeinated drinks, including sugary drinks like soda pop, are not healthy options during the hot summer months. These types of drinks are essentially diuretics. They cause you to urinate frequently and drain your body of the liquids you need for proper hydration.
  4. Pace yourself and take it easy — During the hottest part of summer, don’t overexert yourself. Take it easy and pace yourself. If you want to exercise, go early in the morning or later in the evening in the cooler parts of the day. If you start a new exercise regimen, build up to it. Overdoing it in the summer heat will stress your body and increase your risk of heat-related illness. If you don’t feel good, back off!
  5. Sports drinks are good, safe options — Replacing fluids you lose to sweat is essential for seniors and the elderly, especially during and after workouts. In addition to water, sports drinks and water infused with electrolytes and nutrients help you maintain good hydration.
  6. Sweeten your drinks naturally — You want to avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and sugary fruit drinks. But if you want a little sweetness in your water, try fruit. A slice of lemon or a slice of strawberry, is a sweet and tasty fruit drink.

 

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