Hydration In Older Adults – Why It’s Important

Hydration In Older Adults – Why It’s Important

Water is essential for almost every bodily function, from controlling our body temperature to pumping blood to our heart. Hydration is essential at every age, but it becomes more of a concern the older we get. Hydration in older adults is vital for several reasons. As we age, our sense of thirst begins to diminish. Unless we become mindful of our fluid intake, we risk becoming dehydrated.

What Is Dehydration?

Dehydration is when we lose more fluids than we consume. There is the misconception that we’re only dehydrated when we’re thirsty. Unfortunately, thirst is not always an indicator that you’re dehydrated and need to take a drink. There are several other signs that can warn you that you need to take action and hydrate.

The most common symptoms of dehydration in older adults include:

  • Dark-colored urine, urinating less frequently
  • Fatigue, or feeling weak
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Rapid heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Muscle cramps in arms or legs
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry skin and lips
  • Confusion, decreased cognitive function

How Much Water Do You Need To Stay Hydrated?

The best way to prevent dehydration is to simply drink more throughout the day. How much more? According to the American Heart Association, the amount of water each person needs can vary. It depends on several factors, including climatic conditions, clothing worn, and exercise intensity and duration.

In general, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that each day women get a total of about 2.7 liters (L), or 11 cups, of fluid and men get about 3.7 L (16 cups). It’s best to discuss your fluid intake with your doctor. They can review your medical history and conditions and then determine your specific needs. Not all fluid has to be water, however. Your morning coffee counts toward your fluid consumption for the day.

Why Is Hydration So Important In Older Adults?

As previously mentioned, seniors lose their proper sense of thirst the older they get making hydration in older adults sometimes a challenge. This not only leads to dehydration but can lead to a host of other complications.

  1. Kidney Function – Extreme dehydration for an extended period of time can cause severe damage to the kidneys. Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste from the blood via urine. In addition, the kidneys help manage the balance of electrolytes and salts in the blood. When the renal system is compromised or shuts down, toxins begin to build up in the blood. Electrolytes and fluid also build up in the body, causing swelling. Severe renal failure results in severe illness or even death.
  2. Urinary Incontinence – It may sound counterintuitive to drink more when you cannot control your bladder. Many seniors actually avoid drinking in an attempt to prevent these embarrassing moments. However, dehydration only compounds the problem even more. A reduction in fluids can lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTI is one of the most commonly diagnosed infections in older adults. When left untreated, UTIs in older adults can cause serious complications, including kidney damage and sepsis. If you suffer from urinary incontinence, it may be embarrassing, but it is vital that you stay well hydrated. You should consult your doctor for possible treatment methods for your incontinence.
  3. Digestion – Hydration is a key component to keeping your internal pipes flowing properly and regularly. Dehydration often results in constipation, in addition to gastritis, acid reflux, and in some cases, ulcers. Drinking water helps produce digestive acid that, in turn, helps your body break down food. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it’s unable to absorb the proper amount of nutrients from your food.
  4. Brain Function – Our brains are made up of 80 percent water. When we become dehydrated, even the tiniest bit, our brain has difficulty functioning, often leaving us confused and forgetful. Furthermore, prolonged dehydration in older adults causes brain cells to actually shrink. This has been linked to a symptom of the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

How To Stay Hydrated

It may seem like an easy fix – drink more water – but staying hydrated isn’t always the easiest, especially if you are constantly on the go. Here are some simple steps to help keep you properly hydrated.

Carry water with you, always. If you always have water on you, it makes it easy to take a sip here and there. Carry a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go. If you spend most of your time at home, have a water pitcher nearby that you use and can keep track of your fluid intake.

Eat foods with a high water content. If you find it difficult to drink fluids on a regular basis, try adding some foods to your diet that are high in water. Fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, and celery, are great for snacking on and will also help increase your water intake. Soups and broths are also another great way to increase your fluid intake.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake. Alcohol is the number one way to strip your body of hydration. It’s a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more frequently, eliminating valuable fluids. Alcohol also depletes your body of the necessary electrolytes and minerals it so desperately needs to function.

Hydrate For Better Health

Hydration in older adults is important for a number of reasons, including optimum health. Our entire body, even our brains, needs water to function. We might find it annoying having to run to the bathroom several times a day, but that is a small price we must pay for Better Health. So, pour yourself a glass of water and drink up!

Prevents Kidney Diseases

Prevents Kidney Diseases

Your kidneys are critical for achieving Better Health. Every 30 minutes, your kidneys filter all the blood in your body. They remove waste, toxins, and excess fluid. Most people have two kidneys, but you can live with one (or less).

Prevents kidney diseases
Prevents kidney diseases

5 Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

Drink plenty of fluids (64 ounces of water daily) to help flush your kidneys.

Don’t smoke. Smoking slows blood flow to your kidneys, which can reduce their function.

Eat healthy, low-fat foods and exercise to reduce your risk of high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

Limit the use of over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen and naproxen, as these drugs can harm your kidneys.

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, be sure to have your kidney function monitored regularly.

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses and hospitalizations.

1. A flu shot can save your life:

The flu can cause some serious complications that sometimes require hospitalization, such as dehydration, worsening of chronic illnesses, bacterial pneumonia, ear infections and sinus infections.

2. Shot helps with herd immunity:

If we all get immunizations, of course we can’t spread the virus elsewhere, so we’re all protected from it.

3. Most people are eligible to get the flu shot:

Everyone should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season, especially after the age of 55.

4. The flu shot changes each year:

Before each flu season, the CDC determines which strains of influenza appear to most likely to occur that year. The vaccine will still reduce your chances of contracting certain strains of the virus and if you do get sick, having the vaccine can significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms.

5. You won’t get the flu from the flu shot:

A common misconception is that you can contract the flu from a flu vaccine, but that is not possible because the shot uses a deadened form of the virus.


Call us to schedule your flu vaccine at any of our clinics!

Breast Cancer Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk

Breast Cancer Prevention: How to Reduce Your Risk

If you’re concerned about developing breast cancer, you might be wondering if there are steps you can take to help prevent breast cancer. Some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Limit alcohol: The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation is to limit yourself to no more than one drink a day, as even small amounts increase risk.

Maintain a healthy weight: If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this. Reduce the number of calories you eat each day and slowly increase the amount of exercise.

Be physically active: Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which helps prevent breast cancer. Most healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity.

Be vigilant about Breast Cancer Detection: If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, schedule an appointment with us. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screening based on your personal history.

At SaludVIP, our mission is to offer the highest quality of care with excellence, integrity, compassion and innovation. To pursue our patient’s health and wellness, as well as the love for the important things in life such as family, friends and life itself.

You can call us at 844-912-5292 or visit our website at www.saludvip.com to learn more about us and the medical service we provide.

Three Tips to Take Care of Your Health Every Day

Three Tips to Take Care of Your Health Every Day

Your Doctor’s tips

When it comes to talking with your doctor, it’s important to know that nothing is “off limits”. Many people hold back important information from their healthcare providers out of fear of being judged or embarrassed. In some cases, failure to disclose information to your doctor can have serious consequences for your health.

At SaludVIP, our providers are here to help you take preventive measures to protect your health and improve your well-being. Schedule a preventive appointment with us!

Families who share everyday activities together form strong, emotional ties.

Track your day: Track your eating habits

MyFitnessPal is one of the best food tracking apps available. The food diary includes an easy-to-use database that offers nutrition information for millions of different foods, including restaurant meals. Users are able to set their personal goals and the app will take that and break down the amount of calories to take in each day and how much water to drink.

Live healthy: The Importance of Spending Time Together

Families who share everyday activities together form strong, emotional ties. Studies have found that families who enjoy group activities together share a stronger emotional bond as well as an ability to adapt well to situations as a family. Share your favorite hobbies, sports, books, movies or other favorite activities.

We are moving from Curry Ford

We are moving from Curry Ford

We are moving from Curry Ford

to a New Location in East Orlando.

Accepting New Patients!

Come and see how we are transforming primary care in Central Florida!

We are moving from Curry Ford to a New Location in East Orlando.

Call us to schedule an appointment!