Elder Care in Durham NC
The summer heat can be very challenging for your aging parent. Seniors are more susceptible to heat than younger people and can suffer from serious health complications. One of the greatest risks that your senior will face during this time of the year is dehydration. This is when they body does not have enough fluid to maintain its daily functions and begins to suffer consequences due to it. Virtually every system of the body requires water to operate and when it does not have enough it is not able to perform its functions correctly. Some systems will compensate by drawing fluids away from other systems, furthering the negative consequences for those systems. Protecting your parent from dehydration is essential to helping your parent stay healthy throughout the summer months.
Use these tips to help your parent stay hydrated in the summer heat:
- Encourage your parent to drink small amounts of fluid throughout the day rather than focusing on large servings a few times of day.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol as both have a diuretic effect, meaning they not only do not count as contributing to your parent’s hydration levels, but they actually diminish hydration levels.
- If your parent is concerned about incontinence and does not drink because of this, help them to feel more confident by encouraging them to focus most of their drinking in the morning and early afternoon and slowing their fluid intake toward the evening.
- If your parent has difficulty maintaining proper hydration levels because of swallowing troubles, make it easier for them to consume fluids by thickening them. There are many different thickening agents and different options for how thick to make the fluids, so experiment with them to find the one that works best for your aging parent.
- Remember that it is not just drinking liquids that counts toward hydration levels. Food with high water content such as fruit, soup, vegetables, and even gelatin give the body much-needed hydration.
If you are unsure of how much fluid your parent needs on a daily basis, talk to their doctor. Discuss any medical conditions that they have or medications that they take and find out if there are any restrictions on their fluid intake so that you can ensure they get the hydration they need without putting them at risk due to their personal health needs.
Dehydration can occur very quickly during the summer months, especially among aging adults. If your parent is frequently alone, they are likely at greater risk of suffering from dehydration and the potential health complications that can occur because of the condition. If you are a distance caregiver or you do not get the opportunity to get to the home as much as you would like to because of other constraints on your schedule, elder care may be the ideal option for ensuring your parent’s needs are met. Knowing that an elderly home care services provider is with your parent can give you peace of mind that your parent is safe, healthy, and enjoying their summer with the best quality of life possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Durham, NC or the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at HomeChoice Home Care Services. Call today (919) 847-5622