Summer, it’s getting closer. Meteorologically summer starts tomorrow! A nice time of the year for many people in the world. Nice weather, longer daylight and above all this time of the year is very cosy. Swimming in the nearest pool or in a natural lake, barbecuing, you name it. Nowadays the weather is warmer than before and the summer weather stays for a longer time, which means we can enjoy it even longer! For the elderly summer can also be a good time of the year, but the warmth that it brings is often difficult for them. Drinking is often one of the biggest problems in the elderly generation. They do not feel like drinking and often forget that it also has a function. Dehydration is lurking quickly in the summer months.
Every year there are problems among the elderly at this time of the year. Very sad, but how can you limit these problems in the nursing home where you work?
First of all it is important that you provide the elderly with beverages that are not too cold! Why? Cold beverages send a wrong signal to your body, namely that you are more quickly saturated with sufficient fluid in your body. However, this is not the case at all! Beverages at room temperature are the best for the body.
Although the elderly have less need for fluid in their bodies, it is also important for them to get at least 1.7 litres per day. When you just put a glass of water in front of them and walk away right after, they will most probably not drink it. Try to really talk the water into the persons mouth. In this way they are hydrated again and they are social active, which is nice for them as well. Older people are often tired and do not want to do anything because of their tiredness or pain for example. Grabbing a glass of water can therefore be too much to ask from such a person.
Instead of transparent glasses, go for coloured ones. In this way it is easier for the elderly to find the glass. Often the need to look for their transparent glass is too much trouble and too hard and therefore they leave it for what it is and do not drink at all.
Also, do not always give clients the same drink. Apple juice or iced tea can at one point be too one-sided and reduce the need to drink it. So alternate with other drinks.
Because the elderly have a reduced thirst stimulus, they do not feel it when their body is in need of fluid or when they are thirsty. In addition, the elderly can also be anxious to drink because they will have to go to the toilet again or will get unwanted urine loss. Another thing is that the elderly of course also see how busy all nurses are with their daily tasks and will therefore not ask for a drink. Super sweet of course, but bad for their health.
All these tips are here to prevent dehydration. It can be a dangerous coincidence. The blood pressure drops, you can just fall over and in some cases, if no action is taken in time, dehydration can be fatal! Other signals that you or a client has dried out are the following;
- No elastic skin
- Organs work less good
- Heart will beat faster
- Cold hands and feet
Let’s help the elderly. Offer them beverages and help them to drink it. Summer should be a party for everyone, including the elderly. A nice summer for everyone, we should to drink to that!