How much liquid should the elderly drink? What should you pay attention to?

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Dietitian Busenur Altıkulaç provided information on the subject.

10 REASONS TO BE IMPORTANT HYDRATION IN THE ELDERLY

1. Improved Brain Performance

Even mild dehydration can affect memory, mood, concentration and reaction time. Even adding a few glasses of water to the daily fluid consumption has a positive effect on cognition. Meeting fluid needs can balance cognitive emotions; It can even combat anxiety. Especially in the elderly, who fall into a higher risk group for cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, the risk of mental confusion increases with thirst.

2. Digestion

Water is necessary for proper digestion. Insufficient fluids can cause irregular bowel movements, gas, bloating and heartburn. With age, digestive problems are often seen as a result of reduced physical activity. For this reason, the addition of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains that contain sufficient fiber along with water to elderly people with constipation problems will be helpful in preventing digestive problems.

3. More energy

Dehydration can affect oxygen supply to the brain by slowing circulation. Lack of fluids can also cause the heart to work harder to pump oxygen around the body. As a result of all this energy expended, fatigue, weakness and decreased focus can be seen. However, lean older individuals experiencing anorexia will experience a greater loss of muscle mass; quality of life will deteriorate.

4. Weight Loss/Management

Water helps not to feel hungry by giving a feeling of satiety. It speeds up the metabolism. For example; In one of the studies, consuming extra water before each meal in overweight women reduced body weight, leading to a significant reduction in body composition. According to another study, adults who increased their water intake by just 1% consumed fewer calories and an overall reduced intake of sugar, cholesterol, sodium and saturated fat.

5. Decreased Joint Pain

The cartilage in the joints contains about 80% water. Adequate water consumption also helps reduce friction between bones. Less friction means smoother moving joints and less pain.

6. Improved Temperature Control

Being dehydrated indicates that the body is storing more heat and reducing its ability to tolerate heat. Drinking plenty of water will help you produce sweat if you overheat during activity, which cools the body. This cooling mechanism prevents heat stroke and other potentially deadly heat conditions, especially for the elderly with chronic diseases.

7. Kidney Stone Prevention

Kidney stones are accumulations of mineral crystals that form in the urinary tract. Consuming adequate amounts of water daily can help dilute the mineral concentration in the urinary tract and reduce the risk of stone formation. Water helps flush out harmful bacteria in the bladder and can help prevent urinary tract infections.

8. Healthier Heart

Blood consists largely of water. When not enough water is drunk, it can become concentrated, causing the minerals (electrolytes) to become unbalanced. Minerals such as potassium and sodium are important for the healthy functioning of the heart.

9. Detoxification

Adequate water intake supports the body’s natural detoxification systems that remove waste and harmful substances through urination, breathing and perspiration.

10. Less Headaches

Even mild dehydration during the day can trigger headaches and migraines. One of the main causes of chronic headaches and fatigue is insufficient fluid intake. When dehydration occurs in the body, many major health problems such as dry skin, mouth, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, accelerated heart rate, movement problems, recurrent urinary tract infections and kidney stones can be seen in older individuals. For this reason, taking into account the high use of drugs due to chronic diseases of the elderly, it is necessary to ensure that at least 1.5-2 liters of water are drunk during the day. Milk with a high water content, unsalted buttermilk, kefir, sugar-free compote, soup, cucumber, watermelon, cabbage, lettuce, etc. to support daily fluid needs. The consumption of foods such as vegetables can be increased in their diet. Keep water at different points in the living areas, mint, cucumber, lemon, cinnamon etc. Adding flavoring foods can also contribute to fluid intake.

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