Dehydration is one of the most common preventable medical conditions in the world.
Researchers have found that 48 percent of older adults admitted into hospitals actually had signs of dehydration in their laboratory results.
Did you know?
We lose about 68 ounces of water a day, through perspiration, respiration, and urination. The water we lose needs to be replaced to prevent excessive fluid loss, or dehydration.
Reasons Seniors are Prone to Dehydration
- As people get older, their body water content decreases.
- Many medications seniors take can make them more susceptible to dehydration.
- Many seniors have underlying health conditions that may make them less able to adapt to heat.
- Specific conditions, such as comprehension and communication disorders, decreased mobility, reduced capacity, as well as, incontinence can contribute to dehydration.
- Decreased ability to notice changes in body temperature.
- Seniors often experience diminished thirst; which leads to a reduced fluid consumption.
- As we age, our kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine and retain water during water deprivation.
Dehydration can be life-threatening for Seniors
If a loved one experiences any of the signs listed below, go to the ER or contact a physician immediately:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry mouth, nose, or skin
- Sunken eyes
- Inability to sweat or produce tears
- A notable increase in body temperature
- Elevated heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Low urine output
- Dark coloured urine
Quick Test for Dehydration
If you suspect dehydration in a loved one, you can check by pulling up the skin on the back of the hand for a few seconds. If it does not return to normal almost immediately, the person is dehydrated.
Stay Hydrated in Summer Heat With Fruits and Vegetables
Since the brain spends its energy preventing the body from overheating in summer, it focuses less on creating the desire to eat, which is why we seem to have less appetite during the hot season.
To help seniors stay healthy in the summer, it’s important that they are stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet.
10 Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are at their prime in the summer.
Below are 10 summer produce items:
5 Simple Refreshing Summertime Recipes
Stay cool and hydrated with these simple seasonal recipes.
Refreshing - Strawberry Arugula Salad
This summer strawberry salad takes only 10 minutes to prepare.
Add some grilled chicken for a complete meal.
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups arugula rinsed and spun dry (feel free to substitute with spinach or just field greens)
1 cup strawberries sliced or quartered
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine arugula, sliced strawberries and pine nuts.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.
- Serve immediately.
Minty Watermelon Lime Popsicle
A delicious and nutritious fruit pop!
2 cups 1-inch cubed watermelon
2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
6 mint leaves, chopped
*Optional: sweetener added to taste.
- Blend all ingredients together in a blender.
- Pour mixture into mold and insert stick.
Note: Try using 2 oz. shot glasses or ice cube trays. To get the stick to stand up without a mold, cover with foil and insert the stick in the middle before freezing.
- Freeze until solid.
- Run warm water over mold to release popsicle.
Fresh Peach & Spinach Salad
Try this refreshingly summer salad with some grilled chicken for a simple healthy meal.
4-6 cups organic spinach
2 large peaches, sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds*
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar, to sweeten dressing (Optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinaigrette: balsamic, olive oil, minced garlic, Dijon and salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, add the spinach.
- Drizzle with desired about of balsamic vinaigrette and toss together to combine.
- Top salad with peach slices, diced avocado, red onion, goat cheese crumbles and toasted almonds.
- Toss very gently again.
- Serve immediately.
Strawberries and Coconut Water
Healthy, refreshing and a great way to stay hydrated this summer.
To make 2 Strawberry mock-tails combine:
1 cup (250ml) of fresh coconut water
1 cup (250 ml) strawberries hulled and sliced
3 T of sugar syrup or agave nectar
- Sugar syrup: boil sugar and water together in a ratio of 1:3 sugar to water until it thickens to a runny syrup consistency. Store in a jar for all future cocktail making.
Measure 1 cup of coconut water, either directly from a cut-open coconut or from a store-bought container (if you are lucky enough to live in an area that sells fresh coconut water in a bottle).
- Combine the strawberries and sugar syrup and blend with a blender to desired consistency.
- Serve with ice.
Fresh Cucumber Salad
Fresh cucumber slices really shine in this simple salad.
3 medium cucumbers, sliced
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
- Place cucumbers in a 1-1/2- to 2-qt. glass container.
- In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, shake remaining ingredients until combined.
- Pour over cucumbers.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Serve with a slotted spoon
Fresh Peach Lemonade
This delicious drink makes it easy to stay hydrated on a hot day
4 cups water, divided
2 medium peaches, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 medium lemon, sliced
Mint sprigs, optional
- In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water, peaches and sugar to a boil.
- Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until peaches are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Cool. Strain, discarding peach skins.
- In a large pitcher, combine the peach mixture, lemon juice and remaining water.
- Add lemon slices and mint if desired.
- Serve over ice.
What are some of your favourite summer recipes?
Please share them with us — we’d love to try them!