HN reader choice award

Beat the Heat: 5 Tips for Seniors to Stay Hydrated

The Cabana at Jensen Dunes

Assisted Living and Memory Support community on the Treasure Coast serving the Jensen Beach, Stuart and Port St. Lucie areas.

It’s already March, and that means the thermometer is climbing. Florida’s clear skies and sunshine can be lovely, but they come with a hidden concern: dehydration.

The human body is 70% water. But did you know that hydration levels can change drastically depending on your age, gender, and physical makeup? In particular, as you get older, your body loses six liters of its water reserves—about 15%. Seniors retain less of the water they consume, and don’t adapt as well to changes in temperature. That makes it easier to suffer the effects of dehydration, especially in the summer months.

According to Harvard Health, water is crucial in carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells, improving digestion, cushioning joints, regulating body temperature, and maintaining the proper balance of electrolytes in your brain. Plus, add ‘water’ to your list of heart-healthy foods: it helps to normalize blood pressure and stabilize the heartbeat.

Here are some tips to help your senior improve their water intake:

  1. Add water-filled foods to their diet. Oatmeal, soup, and broth are great winter options, while healthy smoothies can cool you off in the summer. Fruits and vegetables are always a great option, since they pack a nutritious punch and are low in calories.
  2. If your senior is reluctant to drink plain water, flavored beverages like milk, tea, or lemonade are a palatable—and still hydrating—alternative. But remember: liquids still contain calories. If your senior is trying to maintain their weight, try a low-calorie alternative like iced tea.
  3. Try changing the temperature! Many people are particular about the heat or coldness of their beverages, and a cool glass of water may be more pleasant than a too-warm or too-cold one.
  4. Try brightly colored dishware for seniors with vision impairment.
  5. Keep liquids readily available throughout the day. That makes it easier for seniors to drink without the effort of preparing a beverage or requesting one. Plus, the body can absorb water better gradually throughout the day than all at once.

To learn more about how The Cabana protects our residents’ health from the Florida heat, give us a call at 772-332-1000 or schedule a complimentary tour.