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Seniorcare Tip — High Risk of Dehydration For Seniors During Winter

Homecare, Seniorcare, In-Home Care

Article category: Home Care, Seniorcare, Eldercare, In-Home Care, Home Health Care, Caregivers.


Seniorcare Tip — High Risk of Dehydration For Seniors During Winter

If you are one of the many adults with aging parents who need seniorcare and desperately want to age in place, enjoy the comfort and familiarity of their own home, but you have not hired a in-home healthcare agency or a caregiver, please make sure that you constantly remind your senior loved ones of that dangers of dehydration during winter months. We know that this may sound counterintuitive, but the reality is that for our seniors (but not only seniors), the risk of dehydration during the winter is often greater than during summer months.

During the summer, when facing high temperatures, strong sun, and visible perspiration, our elderly  — all of us — are being constantly reminded to hydrate. However, when was the last time you recall being reminded to hydrate during colder winter months? 

Reasons for Winter Dehydration

Here are several reasons why winter dehydration is such a surprising problem:

  • during winter months, to keep their bodies warm, seniors often wear layers upon layers of extra clothing, which contributes to higher perspiration and therefore dehydration,
  • winter perspiration among the elderly is less obvious because in winter sweat evaporates more quickly,
  •  during winter, our aging loved ones experience increased respiratory fluid loss.


There is an Even Bigger Problem

The biggest problem which contributes to winter dehydration for seniors is perhaps the psychological barrier. Winter, snow, rain, colder temperatures somehow do not pair well with drinking a (cool) glass of water.

Research physiologist Robert Keneflick of University of New Hampshire further states:

“People just don’t feel as thirsty when the weather is cold… they don’t drink as much. Cold temperatures reduce the body’s  release of fluid-regulating hormones that stimulate thirst and conserve bodily fluids. During winter, (…) even when dehydration takes place, body’s sensation for thirst is reduced by approximately 40% as compared to summer months.”

But Wait… There is More Trouble

Who during cold winter nights does not love a hot cup of tea while sitting in front of a fireplace? Wanting to keep their bodies warm in winter, seniors prefer hot beverages. The problem is that drinking hot beverages during winter months increases respiratory fluid loss. The hotter the beverage (and the fireplace), the more they perspire, and the more respiratory fluid loss they experience.

If your aging mom and dad enjoy drinking hot beverages during winter — as we all do, please make sure that they also consume plenty of room-temperature water. Mayo Clinic offers the following overview of symptoms.

Caffeine from Coffee and Tea Does Not Help

Another problem with drinking hot beverages during the winter is that those hot beverages are usually coffee and tea. Both coffee and tea are delicious. However, both beverages are also diuretics and contribute heavily to dehydration among the elderly.

If any of those beverages are favorites of your aging loved ones, help them in understanding and limiting consumption of those beverages. Drinking of one or two cups of coffee or tea during the day is not a crime, but that indulgence has to be offset by drinking plenty of water as well.
Home Health caregivers are trained to look for signs of dehydration. Our in-home caregivers are cognizant of the importance of proper hydration which assures optimal health, safety and well-being.

Help Them Find Caffeine-Free Choices

There are plenty of tea choices from the herbal varieties, which are naturally low or free of caffeine. What is Mom’s favorite tea? Take the challenge: go online to see if you can find equally tasty tea that is of herbal variety (and hopefully also organic).

Decaf coffee is available. The problem is that most decaf coffee on the market uses conventional decaffeinating process, which utilizes harsh and unhealthy chemicals. Look for slightly more expensive decaf coffee beans which were decaffeinated by a Swiss Water Method. Those beans do come at premium prices — especially if they are also organic. We think they are worth the extra few dollars, but you be the judge. After all, isn’t health the greatest wealth?

Do you have a winter dehydration cautionary tale that you could share with us?
Email us today.

In few words, Blize Healthcare brings healthcare home. We offer a full-service Seniorcare, In-Home Care, palliative care, and hospice care. Click here to view a full list of the types of care we provide.
Blize Healthcare brings seniorcare to clients in San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Napa, and Sacramento areas. To learn more, call Blize Healthcare today 1-800-343-2549.

❤︎ for the Elderly…


Article topic: In-Home Care, Caregivers, Senior Care, Eldercare, Homecare, Caregivers.