Getting plenty of fluids each day is important to good health, especially as temperatures heat up. For those with Alzheimer’s, it is especially important as dehydration can affect cognitive function.
As we age, we naturally lose some sense of thirst, so it is important to stay hydrated. Know the warning signs of dehydration:
- Feeling very thirsty.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Dizziness when standing or foggy thinking.
- Feeling extra tired.
- Urinating less than usual.
Make fluid intake part of your daily routine. For those with dementia, try creating a beverage as an activity together. Whip up a healthy smoothie or make fresh squeezed lemonade. Try these tips for getting enough fluids:
- Take sips of a beverage between bites during meals.
- Drink a full glass of water when you take a pill.
- Avoid drinks that have sugar and caffeine. Water down a sweet fruit juice.
- Find the perfect vessel (a fancy new tumbler perhaps) for drinking and add liquids throughout the day.
Another cause for concern may come from a loss of appetite, weight loss or dehydration. A few factors may be contributing to the poor appetite:
- Not recognizing food.
- Poor-fitting dentures.
- Medication side effects.
- Lack of exercise.
- Decreased sense of smell and taste.
As a caregiver, be mindful of your loved one’s fluid intake daily. Staying hydrated will keep them at their best.