July is National Hydration Month, and for good reason. As temperatures climb, dehydration becomes a real threat, especially for seniors. According to the Mayo Clinic, as we age, our body’s ability to conserve water is reduced. This, coupled with a dulled sense of thirst, a delayed ability to respond to temperature changes, and the diuretic effect of many medications, puts seniors at a serious dehydration risk.
But, even with all these red flags, you might be having a hard time getting your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Here are some tips on how to make a bland glass of water more appealing for optimum guzzling:
1) Infuse it!
Infused water is gaining popularity in upscale restaurants and organic grocery stores alike, but don’t let the price tags fool you. Making your own infused water at home is as easy as placing fresh fruit in water, allowing it to soak at room temperature, and moving it to the fridge for a cool, refreshing treat. Use these recipe suggestions to get your creative (and fruit) juices flowing.
2) Make a splash
Pour a splash of unsweetened juice (cranberry works particularly well) to give water a burst of flavor without any traces of pulp. Stick to juices that are all natural with no added sugars to get the most vitamins and antioxidants out of each swig.
3) Ice, ice… maybe?
Ice is nice, but if you’re looking for maximum flavor with minimum effort, fruit may be better. Freeze some strawberries, raspberries or tangerine wedges and use them in lieu of ice cubes to keep your water cool and add a hint of sweetness.
4) Call in backup
If the very thought of chugging glass after glass of water is enough to make your insides slosh, don’t hesitate to incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your diet to help make your daily H2O quota. Foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes have a high water content and provide the extra health benefits of vitamins and fiber.
Helping a senior? If care at home is not working well, it could be time for a transition to senior living. Find a Milestone community near you.