Your body is made up of approximately 60% water. Water is essential for nearly every bodily function and helps regulate body temperature, lubricates joints, and aids digestion and nutrient absorption. Maintaining proper hydration is important for all ages, but is especially important for seniors.
As we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating water and electrolyte balance. This can lead to a higher risk of dehydration. Also, older adults are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke due to changes in the body’s ability to regulate body temperature. Finally, as people age, the ability to sense thirst may decline. This can make seniors less aware of their body’s need for water and result in inadequate fluid intake.
How much water do you need?
The amount of water a person should drink daily can vary depending on factors such as age, sex, activity level, climate, and overall health. A common goal is to drink around 8 cups or 64 ounces of water daily for adults.
Tips to Increase Your Water Intake:
By making small changes to your daily routine, you can increase your water intake and stay hydrated.
- Drink water with each meal
- Try calorie-free, fruit-flavored water
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you all the time
- Add flavor to water to make it tastier
- Set reminders on your phone to drink water
- Eat more water-rich foods: lettuce, celery, and watermelon
Physical and occupational therapists can help promote hydration and overall good health through functional training, environmental modifications, education, and support. Talk with your doctor about the benefits of physical, occupational, and speech therapy.