Let’s talk about the importance of hydration, especially given that as Australian’s, we are no strangers to extreme heat and hot weather. Staying hydrated during the summer months is important to maintain good health and optimal bodily function, even more so as we age. With our bodies made up of a staggering 60% water, and then losing at least 2.5 litres of water through daily activities, staying hydrated is essential.
Drinking enough water each day, 356 days of the year, is crucial for many reasons: to help regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood, not to mention, helps stave off heat stroke, which can be a life-threatening emergency, causing a person to collapse or fall unconscious. That said, the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated, especially as we get older is vital.
However, the challenge here is that when we get older, we not only struggle to retain water, but find ourselves with less of an appetite and lower levels of activity. It therefore becomes increasingly difficult to encourage ourselves to stay hydrated.
Signs of dehydration
Dehydration can lead to serious medical episodes, so it’s important to know the signs and what to look out for. The most common signs or side effects of dehydration include:
● Fatigue or lethargy
● Muscle weakness and cramps
● Cracked lips
● Forgetfulness and confusion
● Deep rapid breathing or an increased heart rate or low blood pressure
● Sunken eyes
● Dry or sticky mucus around and in the mouth
● Low urination
● Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
The more serious medical episodes from dehydration include:
● Psychosis or Delirium (most common causes of delirium is dehydration and infection)
● Can lead to heat injuries including heat stroke
● Urinary and Kidney problems
● Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock)
● Extreme dehydration can lead to death
At Home Care Assistance, your health and wellbeing is of the utmost importance to us, as well as your comfort, especially during the summer months. Our dedicated Care Workers will be happy to ensure that the aircon in your home is at the optimal temperature, that you have sufficient water to sip on throughout the day, and can even assist in making a blended alternative, to avoid overheating or dehydration. It is also important to remember that when venturing outdoors, heat exhaustion or heat stroke is indiscriminate, so be sure to always wear a hat and sunscreen, stay in shaded areas where possible, and avoid being outside at the hottest times of day. Mornings and late afternoons or early evenings are best to avoid the heat of day.
When it comes to drinking water, some people find it difficult, so reaching for the nearest soft drink becomes an option instead, which isn’t ideal. Our bodies NEED water in its purest form to function, but if drinking water is a struggle, try swapping straight water for another water-based alternative, which includes water-rich foods too.
Fruit, vegetable juices and cordials blended with chilled water or ice are great options and keep hydration interesting and tasty! Other fruits and vegetables namely cucumber, watermelon and tomatoes to name a few, are some of the many water-rich foods you can eat to keep your hydration levels up.
Keep cool this summer and stay hydrated! If you need a little prompting, that’s ok. Set reminders on your phone to drink water or stick up little notes around the house to remind you to get your eight glasses in each day!
Support of an in-home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.