What steps can be taken to prevent dehydration? Obviously, fluid intake is the key. Elders need visual and verbal reminders to drink fluids such as water, juice, or sodas.

Families and caregivers need to be cognizant about risks and plan ahead to make sure aging loved ones are properly hydrated. This is not as easy as it sounds. Seniors will ignore your recommendations and suggestions.

Here are some tips to help encourage fluid consumption and reduce the risk of elderly dehydration:

— Offer fluids on a regular basis throughout the day.
— Encourage 8 oz. of fluid intake every time the senior takes medication. Generally, they take medications with water or juice. Try to get them to drink the entire glass.
— Keep water bottles and/or a water cooler available throughout the day wherever the senior is (for example, in bed, in the kitchen or family room, on the patio, living room, and/or throughout the house).
— Provide favorite “mocktail” concoctions. For example, my Mother enjoys her cranberry, ice and club soda on a nightly basis.
— Make certain drinks are not caffeinated or containing alcohol.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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