Sun, Fun, and Dehydration

Summer is here, and while we’re having fun in the sun, all the sweating could become a big problem, particularly for the elderly, due to dehydration.

The end of June is the official beginning of summer, which means most of us are going to be spending more and more time outside, awash in water, sunlight, and sweat.

While we’re having fun in the sun, all the sweating can become a big problem, particularly for the elderly, due to dehydration.

But really, sweating is only a piece of the problem of dehydration for older populations. There are age-related issues, medical necessities, and physical limitations that can contribute to reoccurring states of dehydration.

Aging is a factor as the human body’s ability to retain water as well as to recognize thirst become less effective with age.

And then if you have a medical condition that requires certain medicines such as laxatives and diuretics, which remove a lot of water out of the body, then that will exacerbate the situation.

Finally, for the elderly who do not have a lot of help, even just getting to the kitchen to get a glass of water might be a task too difficult to do very often. This scenario might be the easiest to mitigate and resolve because having an aide around to get water and other necessary things is easy to arrange.

Dehydration should be considered a big issue, and we must take special precautions, especially when summer comes around.

What are some simple things to do to reduce dehydration?

The National Institute on Aging has the following tips for the elderly to help ensure that they are getting enough fluids in their daily routine:

Take sips from a glass of water, milk, or juice between bites during meals.

Have a cup of low-fat soup as an afternoon snack.

Drink a full glass of water if you need to take a pill.

Have a glass of water before you exercise or go outside to garden or walk, especially on a hot day.

Remember, water is a good way to add fluids to your daily routine without adding calories.

Drink fat-free or low-fat milk or other drinks without added sugars.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly and in moderation. That means up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.

Don’t stop drinking liquids if you have a urinary control problem. Talk with your doctor about treatment.

That said, grab a glass of water, a big hat, and sunglasses, slather some sunscreen, and go outside!


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