senior drinking water

The Importance of Hydration for Arizona Seniors

Arizona seniors, like all other elderly people, need to drink lots of water.  But living in the desert makes hydration especially important.

Whether you care for Arizona seniors as a career or have just one elderly person for whom you are responsible, or you are a senior yourself, hydration is key.

The summer heat in Southwestern states such as Arizona makes drinking lots of water more important than in other parts of United States. Therefore, Arizona residents are at greater risk of dehydration, which has a host of negative side effects. This is especially dangerous for little children and elderly adults.

However, keeping hydrated can be an issue at any time of year. That’s why it’s so important to understand proper hydration requirements and the signs and symptoms of dehydration. Further, it’s crucial to create a foolproof plan for getting enough water.

Luckily, that’s what here to talk about today. Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping yourself or your loved ones healthy and safe.

What Exactly Is Dehydration, and Why Does It Matter for Seniors?

First, let’s tackle the question of what exactly dehydration is. According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration occurs when you are taking in fewer fluids than you are losing. Possibly you lose those fluids through exercise, which burns the liquid in the body and increases sweating.

However, simply sweating because it is very hot can also pose a danger. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to engage in a high degree of physical activity to face the risk of dehydration.

Moreover, illness often causes dehydration. Vomiting and bathroom issues can cause you to lose a lot of liquid in a short amount of time. If it does not get replenished in short order, dehydration will occur.

Dehydration Signs and Symptoms for Arizona Seniors

If an elderly person does get dehydrated, it’s important to react quickly.  It’s crucial to replenish fluid and reduce the danger of secondary consequences. They include dizziness, confusion, or even passing out. In rare cases, when rehydrating does not do the trick, you may have to go to the hospital for IV fluids.

Helping seniors stay hydrated requires knowing how to spot the symptoms of dehydration. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may let the issue go on too long. A trip to the hospital can usually solve the immediate problem. However, spending time in hospitals is not good for seniors either. They may pick up diseases or otherwise suffer during their stay. So, obviously, it is best avoided.

The symptoms to spot include:

  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • No need to urinate
  • Confusion
  • Disinterest in eating
  • Sunken eyes and cheeks
  • Dry skin that stays in place when you pinch it
  • Feelings of extreme thirst

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to sit the senior down immediately and give them fluids. Juices or electrolyte drinks are helpful. They assist in replenishing the other nutrients that may be missing because the person wasn’t drinking. Do not let the senior get up until they report no more symptoms, can urinate normally, and no longer feel extremely thirsty.

If symptoms do not ebb or the situation gets worse, call the doctor right away. If you are the senior in question, and you are alone, call one of your caregivers immediately if you do not start to feel better after a few glasses of liquid.

A Foolproof Hydration Plan

Drinking when thirsty is a good first step, but many people leave it there. Unfortunately, this is not enough. In the sweltering Arizona heat, the body loses water faster than you may think. It’s critical to make an actual plan for staying hydrated rather than simply counting on thirst to act as an indicator.

Never fear, however. Staying hydrated is not rocket science, and with a good plan, you can avoid it in the first place. Here are some steps to take:

  • Understand how much water you need and always make sure to drink it at home. If you are a caregiver, make sure you are offering water at regular intervals. Also, ensure that your senior actually drinks it.
  • If pure drinking water isn’t that appealing, get liquids in other ways. Dry sparkling water, fruit or veggie juice, tea or even coffee all work. Be careful, though. The latter two are diuretics. So, they must be balanced with beverages that do not cause the body to urinate more frequently and therefore lose even more fluids.
  • Always bring water when you are out and about. Even if you are just headed to the grocery store, keep a water bottle on hand.
  • Take note of especially hot days and bring even more water than you would otherwise.
  • Keep extra water bottles in the car. It’s not ideal to drink water that has been sitting in plastic for weeks on the regular. However, if you have no other option, this is far better than nothing.
  • Work with other stakeholders, such as children of seniors (if you’re the caregiver) or your friends (if you are the senior), to make sure to achieve adequate water intake.

As with diet and exercise, staying hydrated is part of a healthy lifestyle. Making a routine plan for water intake will ensure success.

Hydration and Caregiving

For obvious reasons, that makes hydration high on the list of priorities for caregiving. If your loved one has a caregiver, speak to that person about making sure they have a dedicated hydration plan. Knowing of any special recommendations the parent or loved one’s doctor makes, facilitates the caregiver’s job.

As the child, niece or nephew, or friend of the senior, it’s your job to make sure you hire an excellent caregiver. Look for one who has plenty of expertise and knows how to get the job done. Choose professionals who have years in the business and who have been working in the hot Arizona area for a while. That means they’ll have a much greater chance of understanding the individual needs of those who live in the desert.

Now that you have a hydration plan for the Arizona seniors in your life, it’s time to reach out to a caregiving company that can help you accomplish those aims. Please feel free to get in touch with Celestial Care at any time. We would love to speak to you about your senior and help them age healthfully in place. Get in touch today.