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How To Get Elderly To Drink Water: 6 Tips For Caregivers

How to Get Elderly to Drink Water: 6 Tips for Caregivers

Caring for a senior is never easy, especially when it comes to maintaining their health. Many aging adults struggle to get enough fluid intake each day. Unfortunately, dehydration can have serious consequences for your loved one’s health. 

There are some tips and tricks to help your aging loved one stay hydrated and healthy each day. Follow these tips on how to get elderly to drink water — so you can both enjoy better well-being. 

1. Add Flavoring to Water to Enhance the Taste

If you struggle to figure out how to get elderly to drink water, it may be helpful to make their water taste better. 

Many people of all ages don’t enjoy drinking plain water. If your loved one prefers stronger flavors, simply add their flavors of choice to their drinking water. It can be fun to experiment with different flavor enhancements. 

Some possible additions to your loved one’s water include:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Cucumber
  • Strawberry
  • Kiwi
  • Orange

These fresh fruits and vegetables make water more refreshing and enjoyable. When your loved one loves the taste of the water they drink, they’re more likely to stay hydrated throughout the day. 

2. Offer Drinks and Broths With Electrolytes 

Water isn’t the only hydrating liquid out there. Broth and sports drinks often contain lots of electrolytes, which help keep your loved one’s system balanced. If you struggle to get them to drink plain water, low-fat soup broths and electrolyte beverages may be better choices. 

Make sure you check the sugar content on any sports drinks you offer to your loved one. Many bottled drinks from the supermarket contain high amounts of added sugar, which can spell trouble for your aging loved one’s health. Look for drinks without added sugar or with alternative sweeteners instead. 

3. Encourage Them to Drink a Full Glass of Water After Taking Medications

Your loved one probably has several medications they have to take each day. What better time to encourage drinking water than when they’re taking their pills? 

Every time your loved one has to take a pill, ask them to drink a full glass of water with it. This will help keep them hydrated and make it easier to swallow their medication. By the end of the day, your loved one will have consumed several glasses of water. This is a great first step to full hydration. 

4. Give Gentle Reminders 

As a caregiver, you probably have to guide your loved one through several decisions and activities each day. You should give your aging loved one reminders to make sure they drink enough water. Make sure you phrase the reminders in a polite and gentle way. If you have a combative tone, they may be less likely to listen to you. 

5. Add Hydrating Foods to Each Meal

If your senior loved one refuses to drink water on their own, you can add foods with high water content to each meal. This will ensure that they get plenty of hydration without causing arguments and conflict. 

Some foods that naturally contain lots of water include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Grapes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Bell peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes

Sneak these hydrating foods into a few meals or snacks for your loved one each day. These foods also contain plenty of beneficial nutrients to boost your loved one’s health — it’s a win-win!

6. Serve Water in Stylish Drinkware

If you’ve been searching “how to get elderly to drink water,” try serving hydrating beverages in aesthetically pleasing glassware or vintage cups. Your loved one may be more likely to enjoy the hydration process if they can easily see and enjoy the drinkware they’re using. 

Always keep safety as your top priority. If your loved one’s fine motor skills are declining, it’s best to use plastic or other materials over glass drinkware. Glass can break and cause injuries, so use your best judgment when serving drinks to your elderly loved one. 

Use These Tips to Increase Senior Hydration

Staying hydrated is especially important for aging adults. Their kidneys and other organs need extra help processing toxins and fluids that enter their bodies. As a result, dehydration can become dangerous or even fatal. 

You can help your loved one take care of their health by encouraging healthy water intake each day. Follow this guide to make drinking water enjoyable and stress-free for both of you. 

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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