A1 Senior Care Portland OR
7 tips on heat to prevent dehydration in the elderly
The USA is experiencing an unprecedented warm early summer. Sufficient drinking and cooling is important, but how do you do that? 2000 ml is about 10 glasses of drink. Of course it is always important to also look at the individual: does someone have diabetes pills, diabetes, medication where the fluid balance is important: make sure you have information how much this person should drink. Here the surprising tips that contribute to sufficient drinking and cooling.
Yogurt, custard and ice cream also contain a lot of moisture
The feeling of thirst is reduced in many older people. On regular days you often have to make an effort to ensure that they receive the minimum amount of 1500-2000 ml. In warm weather the danger of dehydration is even greater. For those who drink badly, yogurt, custard and ice cream can be an extra source of fluid, just like soup.
A change in taste makes people drink
Is it possible to offer clients and residents something different than usual? Maybe an alcohol-free beer? Or a tomato juice with a pinch of pepper?
Divide over the day
If 1500-2000 ml is the goal, it can be good to 'chop' the day into 5 pieces. In each part, the client must drink at least 2 glasses. The 5 pieces can be: breakfast (1), between breakfast and lunch (2), lunch (3), between lunch and dinner (4), dinner (5). Of course it is wise to drink after supper, but a little extra does not hurt with this warm weather. And it is possible: report how much the client has drunk.
TIP! Can you think of something festive about the moment of drinking so that it is easier? In one of Ruud Dirkse's books on dementia, he tells us that a partner discovers that his wife with dementia drinks better when they toast. They toast every day several times. Or can you make a map for the residents of you with 10 checked boxes every day? As a kind of competitive element?
TIP! Be extra alert for elderly people with dementia that their drinking is not returned to the food cart untouched because they have forgotten to drink.
Find extra drinking moments
You can stimulate drinking at an unexpected time. Think for example of brushing teeth. Or try a few sips of water after a move if the client has possibly gotten hotter. Every bit helps.
If it is warm for a longer continuous period, try to keep the heat out as much as possible. You do this by closing curtains and sunblinds, so that sunlight does not heat the room.
Keep doors and windows closed during the day. Open them in the morning and evening when it gets cooler. Airy clothing also helps to stay cool. Think of cotton or linen clothing. Synthetic clothing can activate sweating, so do not do better. A cool washcloth can be very nice. Or just rinse the wrists or face under the tap. Cool is better than ice cold. Or use a spray with water. And what does the client think of a fan?
Characteristics of dehydration
Dehydration can lead to confusion and even death in extreme cases. How do you recognize dehydration at an earlier stage? Dehydration in the elderly can be difficult to recognize. Some characteristics: cracked lips, dry mouth and tongue, headache, little urination and dark urine. Good to keep an eye on this!