Is Dehydration Still a Problem for Seniors During Colder Weather?

Dehydration is something that people tend to think about during hot weather, particularly when it comes to keeping seniors from becoming dehydrated. This is a huge misconception, however, because dehydration can occur no matter what the weather is. Dehydration has huge health impacts, so aging adults need to pay attention to hydrating. Senior home care providers can do a lot to help seniors stay properly hydrated.

Senior Home Care Somerville MA - Is Dehydration Still a Problem for Seniors During Colder Weather?
Senior Home Care Somerville MA – Is Dehydration Still a Problem for Seniors During Colder Weather?

Reduced Perception of Thirst

When the weather is colder, people naturally experience reduced perception of thirst. Seniors already have a reduced sense of thirst, so this increases the risk of dehydration even more. One solution is for seniors to have frequent reminders to sip water and other hydrating beverages. Senior home care providers can make this easier and also help to track fluid intake.

Dry Indoor Air

Indoor air during colder weather is naturally drier because humidity tends to drop in colder weather. Couple that with heating systems being on, which dries out the air even more, and it’s a lot easier for seniors to dehydrate. Seniors may not notice that they’re experiencing more fluid loss than usual, which makes it even more important for them to be more conscious about their fluid intake.

Reduced Awareness of Body Temperature

It’s also very common for seniors to be less aware of how their bodies are regulating temperature. They may not realize quickly when they’re warm because of extra clothing layers, for instance, which can cause sweating and increased fluid loss. Regular hydration breaks can help to address this issue before it leads to dehydration.

Reluctance to Sip Beverages

Some seniors are reluctant to sip hydrating drinks year-round, not just in colder weather. But in colder weather, they may be less interested in cold or room-temperature beverages. An easy solution is to offer warm hydrating beverages, like unsweetened herbal teas. If seniors are worried about drinking fluids for other reasons, like incontinence concerns, then there may be other solutions that need to be considered.

Increased Risk of Illness

Colder weather is often when more people get sick, especially with respiratory illnesses. These conditions can contribute to dehydration because the body is fighting to get rid of the infection. Fevers, sweating, increased mucus production, and lack of fluid intake all can lead to dehydration. It’s important to stay on top of fluid intake when seniors are under the weather.

Medication Side Effects

Some medications have side effects that make dehydration much more likely. Diuretics in particular can exacerbate issues around dehydration. It’s always important to be aware of side effects and how many medications seniors are taking that have similar side effects. Getting a medication review can be a good way to stay on top of things.

Dehydration is a huge problem for aging adults no matter when it happens. Addressing hydration issues as quickly as possible is a vital part of helping seniors stay healthy and happy. Senior home care providers can do a lot to help seniors stay hydrated and address other concerns that could contribute to dehydration.

If you or an aging loved one is considering Senior Home Care Services in Somerville MA or the surrounding areas please get in touch with the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090