Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration than other adults because with age, the body’s ability to conserve water and respond to changes in temperature is reduced, and thirst is felt more acutely. To help your senior loved one avoid dehydration, encourage him or her to steer clear of the following foods.
Alcohol may seem to quench thirst initially, but it eventually leads to dehydration when consumed in excess. Drinking beer, wine, and liquor causes cells to shrink, depleting the body of water quickly. Older adults should avoid drinking more than one alcoholic drink per day, with a drink defined as one 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1 ounce of liquor.
Dehydration is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Asparagus, Parsley, Celery, & Artichokes
These veggies all contain a specific amino acid that leaches the body of fluid. Asparagus in particular is a natural diuretic, so your loved one may find him or herself using the bathroom more often when consuming it in large quantities. As long as he or she eats other fruits and vegetables and drinks plenty of water, there’s no reason to cut this vegetable from the diet. While asparagus and the other greens on this list are still part of a healthy diet, encourage your loved one to drink extra water if he or she eats them frequently.
3. Salty Foods
Older adults should avoid consuming salty foods regularly, especially if they have underlying conditions such as hypertension. Items with too much sodium include many canned, fried, and processed foods as well as frozen meals, condiments, salad dressings, and snack and junk food items.
4. Sugary Drinks
Add dehydration to the list of reasons people shouldn’t drink sugary sports drinks and sodas. Your loved one may feel the need to reach for one of these when thirst strikes, but his or her organs, including the kidneys, have to work harder to process these beverages. This means your loved one loses water reserves as the kidneys flush the sugars and other ingredients from his or her system. While sports beverages may seem hydrating and refreshing, they actually contribute to dehydration. These drinks are full of sugar, which makes it more difficult for the body to store water and easier to lose extra fluids.
While caffeine has long been considered a cause of dehydration, it doesn’t have an impact unless your loved one drinks more than five cups of coffee or tea a day, since these beverages consist primarily of water.
Limiting unhealthy fluid intake is one of the best ways to lower the risk of dehydration. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior home care. Fair Oaks Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
5. Cured Meats
Not only do these items fall into the salty foods category, they’re also quite high in protein—another factor that can cause dehydration. Processed meats are also known to increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.
When left untreated, dehydration can lead to major medical conditions, so it’s essential to make sure your loved one gets the right amount of healthy fluids every day. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Fair Oaks seniors can depend on. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.