When life gets busy, we often forget to stay hydrated and ensure our loved ones water intake, especially during the warm summer months. When you become thirsty you are actually already dehydrated, so keeping on top of your hydration is important for your overall health. Individuals are more likely to become dehydrated during summer and not be aware of it - and this is even more prevalent for persons living with dementia. Individuals might no longer be able to express that they are thirsty, might face challenges drinking from certain cups, and may not recognize that they are thirsty.
Today we share some tips on how you and persons with dementia can stay hydrated!
1. Carry a reusable water bottle
This is a great reminder of how much you are drinking throughout the day. It is recommended that all adults drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. Having a water bottle with measurements on it will help remind you to drink more and reduce plastic waste. It also will help you to keep track of how much water your loved one with dementia is drinking too. Plus, it's great to carry while on the go!
2. Drink throughout the day
While it's sometimes difficult to remember, drinking water during each meal is a great way to stay hydrated - and not keep you up all night for a restroom break. It is important to opt for water instead of soda and juices, which often have high sugar content. Also providing a glass of water for your loved one with dementia and encouraging them to finish their glass at the end of their meal will help them stay hydrated too.
3. Replenish during physical activity
If you are walking or participating in any form of exercise, it's important to stay hydrated. Acknowledging how much water you are losing through sweating, so it's important to replenish your water levels by drinking during activities. Carrying a water while walking or exercising can be a good reminder to stay hydrated.
4. Seek out innovative products
I love this idea of jelly drops for persons living with dementia who might face challenges keeping up with their water intake. Lewis Hornby created jelly drops that are small treats filled with electrolytes to help protect against dehydration (https://www.rca.ac.uk/students/lewis-hornby). They're easy to handle, colourful, and his personal story makes it even more special. You can visit their website here.
5. Opt for foods with high water content
If your loved one with dementia refuses to drink, offering food that is high in water content is a great alternative to ensure proper hydration. Food such as watermelon, berries, oranges, cucumber, and lettuce offer high water content and are great to eat, especially in the heat of the summer.
Do you have any other tips for staying hydrated? Share in the comments below.