The Elevated Danger of Dehydration in Seniors and How to Help

Senior woman at home drinking hot drink and smiling at the camera

Seniors are among the group with the highest hospitalizations due to dehydration. Learn how to reduce the risk with these easy prevention methods.

Did you know that almost one half of all older adults are chronically under-hydrated, based on a new scientific study conducted at UCLA? Not just that, but seniors over age 65 account for the highest group of hospital admissions as a consequence of dehydration.

Dehydration can easily sneak up on seniors, who often have a reduced sensation of thirst, may experience medication side effects that cause hydration problems, or who erroneously believe that drinking less will decrease incontinence issues.

Senior dehydration can be extremely dangerous, increasing the risk for health issues which include:

  • UTIs
  • Kidney stones and/or failure
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Hypovolemic shock
  • And many more

Dehydration can be identified by the following symptoms:

First stages:

  • Reduced amount/darker-colored urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Feelings of weakness, dizziness, and/or lower energy
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irritability

Advanced stages:

  • Confusion and disorientation, including difficulty walking
  • Low blood pressure levels and weakened, faster pulse and breathing
  • Stomach bloating
  • Sunken, dry eyes
  • Skin that is wrinkled with no elasticity
  • Worsened muscle cramps and contractions, and/or convulsions

While we often pay more attention to hydration when the air temperature is elevated, it is important for seniors to consume sufficient fluids throughout the year. A quick and easy formula to find out how much, on average, an older adult should drink every day is to divide his or her body weight by three, and have him or her take in that many ounces of water. As an example, if a senior loved one weighs 180 pounds, he or she would need to have a minimum of 60 ounces of water each day.

Try these guidelines to ensure the older adults you love stay healthy and hydrated:

  • Plain water is best, but take into account other types of fluids, including soup, juice, fruits, and vegetables. Abstain from sugary and caffeinated beverages.
  • Place bottled water, or a small pitcher of ice water and a cup, near the older adult to prompt him or her to sip on it conveniently during the day.
  • Try various temperatures. Sometimes a warmed cup of water is more comforting than an icy one. You may even try heating up juice and other beverages to figure out if they are more appealing, or provide popsicles if needed.

The experienced in-home caregivers at Responsive Home Care are experienced in imaginative techniques to help older adults stay hydrated, and in monitoring fluid intake to ensure adequate fluids are consumed every day. Contact us at (954) 486-6440 to learn more about how we can help enhance the health of senior loved ones with Sunrise in-home care, in the convenience and familiarity of home. We provide home care services throughout Broward County.

Taking Care of YOU: Family Caregiver Injury Prevention Tips

Learn how to prevent experiencing an injury yourself as you care for a loved one at home.

While the ultimate goal is to increase health and safety for the seniors they love, family caregivers, regrettably, oftentimes wind up compromising their very own health along the way. The truth is, an astounding 94% of caregivers in a recently available study carried out by Ohio State University revealed musculoskeletal pain in more than one part of their body – and 66% noted this pain influencing their quality of life.

And know that a “family caregiver” can describe anyone in the family who provides home care assistance for individuals with day to day activities. As reported by the Family Caregiver Alliance, this suggests 34 million Americans are at risk of becoming injured through the home care services they provide.

At Responsive Home Care, we know firsthand the degree of lifting, bending, and weight-bearing necessary in satisfying the care needs of a senior loved one, and that’s why each of our professional caregivers is competent in techniques that safeguard both themselves and the seniors in their care. Injuries might result from even the most basic of tasks that require more physical strength than you might realize: shopping and running errands, cleaning the home, performing laundry chores, cooking, and especially transferring a senior loved one to a chair or bed.

To help family caregivers reduce the chance of injury, we provide the following family caregiver injury prevention tips:

  • Let assistive devices do the lifting. For seniors with mobility issues, transfers, for instance from a bed to a couch, are among the most common factors behind injury to those taking care of them. Not just that, but the likelihood of the senior falling and acquiring an injury are heightened. Caregivers should look into equipment like a Hoyer lift to help with safe transfers (but realize that proper training will be required).
  • Employ safe movement practices. We’ve all heard the adage, “Lift with your legs, not with your back,” but prior to lifting a finger, caregivers should take a brief assessment of their own physical status. If pain is felt in any of the joints or back, it is a sign that the body could have been pushed beyond its capability – and an alternative way of helping your senior loved one should really be investigated.
  • Find help. The best way to try to avoid injury in caregiving is through acknowledging your limitations, and calling in professionals when warranted. The Sunrise elderly care team at Responsive Home Care is fully experienced and skilled in supplying a full range of senior care assistance, helping family caregivers and older adults alike to stay safe and well.

Contact us and our Sunrise elderly care team at 954-486-6440 to inquire about an in-home consultation. We can perform a safety assessment of the home, provide you with information that can help in your caregiving journey, and offer the highly customized, professional home care assistance services that allow families the chance to simply enjoy quality time with the seniors they love.

Workers Are Leaving Jobs Due to Imbalance in Employment and Family Caregiving Responsibilities

Shot of a thoughtful businesswoman looking out of an office window

Holding down a job and being responsible for family caregiving can create stress on employees. Find out more here.

Not long ago, actor Rob Lowe brought family caregiving into the foreground by discussing his journey of caring for his mother and the impact it had on his own life. He said, “When you’re caring for a loved one, there’s nothing you won’t do to give them as much comfort and peace of mind as you can possibly provide. Often that means you’ll skip your social obligations, wreck your diet, suffer sleep deprivation, and even risk your career.” Read more

Top Tips for Supporting Someone With Dementia

Senior women at home.

If you’re supporting someone with dementia and feel like you’re in uncharted territory, use these guidelines from our Sunrise elderly care experts.

At times, the greatest lessons in life come from going through them firsthand; yet the information we can discover from those who’ve traveled a similar course before us is priceless. If you are providing care for a loved one with dementia and beginning to feel a bit bogged down in this uncharted territory, the guidelines below might help: Read more

It’s Time to Put Aging in a Positive Light

Senior couple having fun riding motor scooter.

Put a positive spin on aging with these tips from the experts in senior care, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

A quick Google search for the term “aging” returns topics such as “coping with aging,” “what you can do about aging,” and even “the cure to aging.” The negative connotations to aging are, regrettably, so embedded within our culture that it is forecasted that by 2021, we’ll be spending over $300 billion in anti-aging products.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the issues that could be realized in getting older – health concerns, the passing of friends and family, and cognitive issues – what’s getting lost in the shuffle are the incredible gains of growing older. Consider, for instance:

  • A recent report by Stony Brook University revealed that senior loved ones are more content overall, with reportedly declining feelings of anger and anxiety in old age.
  • Socialization and conflict resolution skills are superior in later years, reported by research performed by the University of Michigan.
  • In a game aimed to induce and examine regret, seniors outshined their younger counterparts with their ability to manage emotions.
  • And according to Cornell sociologist Karl Pillemer who surveyed 1,200 elderly people, the consensus was that the past 5 or 10 years were indeed the happiest of their lives. “Many people said something along these lines: ‘I wish I’d learned to enjoy life on a daily basis and enjoy the moment when I was in my 30s instead of my 60s,’” Pillemer shares.

Not only that, but retired adults are able to explore and realize hobbies and talents without having the time demands of younger, employed adults, which can lead to a renewed zest for life, new social ties, and enhanced bonds with existing friends and family.

Responsive Home Care helps highlight the advantages of the aging process in many ways. Instead of simply coming in and executing tasks that a senior loved one can no longer complete, we identify the person’s particular skills, empowering her or him to follow new pursuits with the encouragement of a friendly caregiver.

Whether it’s learning a new skill or language, taking a vacation to a long-desired destination, committing to get physically healthier, or whatever a senior’s goal, we are available to give motivation, transportation and accompaniment, and a number of other services to help your loved one thrive and live life to the fullest.

Help your senior loved one identify and accomplish brand new dreams! Contact the home care experts at Responsive Home Care by calling 954-486-6440 and requesting an in-home assessment to find out more.