Preventing dehydration is important because it can cause serious health issues and is a common cause of hospitalization in people over age 65. Being properly hydrated is also needed for certain medications to work. Ideally, we’d be able to prevent seniors from getting dehydrated, but it’s tough to increase someone’s fluid intake when they won’t cooperate. To make it easier to keep your older adult hydrated, we share 6 creative tips for getting seniors to drink more water.
Use these ideas as a starting point Each person has different habits, preferences, and health conditions, so what’s most important is to be creative and try different ideas until you find ones that work for your older adult. It’s also essential to check with their doctor if you have questions about how a creative technique could affect their health. For example, you wouldn’t want to give high sodium drinks to someone with high blood pressure, milkshakes to someone with high cholesterol, or sugary drinks to a diabetic.
6 ways to get seniors to drink more water 1. Remember that there are many sources of fluids People don’t have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweetened beverages, fruits, and vegetables all contain water. If dehydration is a serious issue for your older adult, but they really resist drinking healthy fluids, it may be necessary to make trade-offs like allowing them to drink less healthy options like sugary drinks or diet soda. To be sure that the pros outweigh the cons and their overall health will benefit, speak with their doctor first Or, try serving more foods with high water content to increase hydration without drinking fluids. 2. Keep water close by at all times Sometimes, making it easy for seniors to serve themselves could encourage them to drink more water. Try keeping a lightweight pitcher of water and a cup near their favorite seat to make it quick and convenient to take a drink. Or make them a personalized water bottle to use throughout the day. 3. Experiment with beverages at different temperatures Your senior may prefer hot drinks to cold, or the other way around. Experiment to find out which type they like better. Try different things like warming up juices, making decaf iced coffee with cream, or adding plain soda water to make tea or juice bubbly. 4. Try something savory Those who like savory foods may enjoy drinking hot soup broth instead of a sweet or neutral tasting beverage. For convenience, the broth could come from a can, box, or powder. It’s especially comforting in cold weather. And if your older adult is watching their sodium intake, make sure to get a low sodium broth or consider making homemade broth. 5. Make popsicles Homemade popsicles made from fruit juice or a mix of juice and water are a great treat and a great way to get more fluids into your older adult. 6. Offer smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, sports drinks Some stubborn older adults may really resist drinking fluids. If so, you could try enticing them with smoothies, milkshakes, Ensure, or sports drinks even if they’re not the healthiest choices. If they like the flavor or texture of these options, they may be more willing to drink them regularly. Always check with your senior's doctor to ensure the option you choose is the right one.