Seniors have a very serious problem as they age: they are not taking in enough water which causes dehydration. In fact, many seniors take so little water that by the time they are thirsty, it is usually a symptom of early dehydration. Fortunately, nowadays there are many amazing new devices for almost everything. On this post, you will get to know some amazing devices that can really help and encourage seniors to drink more water. Gadgets that can eventually prevent elderly dehydration.
We made a list with some of the latest gadgets for seniors to avoid dehydration. To make this list, we focused on affordable, easy to use gadgets and apps.
Gadgets to Prevent Elderly Dehydration
There are many ways to help you drink more water including having a “to do list” that includes “Drink more water”. However, increasing your water intake is not as easy as it seems. It is even harder for the elderly, who may have issues with dementia and other conditions that may make them forgetful. They also tend to have reduced sensation of thirst.
With that in mind, some high tech gadgets were invented in order to help seniors drink fluids and keep themselves hydrated.
There are several gadgets that you can use to help the elderly drink more water and eventually prevent your elderly relative from succumbing to dehydration.
These range from high tech drinking water reminder apps and clocks that always remind the elderly to take their daily dose of fluids and smart water bottles, to simple “smart” bottles that improve the drinking experience and make seniors more likely to drink.
By using smart gadgets, you can help the elderly get their recommended water intake. This can be done either by having apps that track their fluid intake or by having digital reminders that remind them to take water at given intervals.
What does it do? The Hidrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle tracks water intake and glows to remind you to stay hydrated.
This BPA-free bottle features a sensor technology that tracks your water intake and syncs your progress to our free hydration tracker app via Bluetooth. The bold glow illuminates the entire bottle to remind you to drink more water, either at regular intervals or when you are behind on your daily water goal.
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What does it do? It measures the body’s activity as well as levels of hydration in real time, telling you how much fluid they need. The tracker goes as far as telling you how much fluid they need to get better sleep, mood, and performance.
If you have been checking out the fitness tracking apps then this should blow your mind. The Acumen Hydra-Alert is one of the best ways of preventing dehydration in the elderly.
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What does it do? The ULLA Smart Hydration Reminder to Drink More Water Bottles keeps track and remind you to drink more If you forget to drink, smart detection sensors remind you to hydrate at least once per hour.
This is a smart tracker that you can install on any mug, cup or bottle to track the elderly’s daily fluid intake. The thing works great whether they are at home or out of the house as it sends them reminders in the form of blinks when they have not had their drink for a set amount of time. If the elderly person is involved in a lot of activity in the house or outside the house, it can serve as a reminder for them to rehydrate at regular intervals.
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What does it do? The Savvy Infusion Flip Top Fruit Infuser Water Bottle is a great water bottle when you need to add some flavor to the drinking experience for the senior.
The bottle comes with an infuser where you can add in herbs, vegetable and sliced fruit for an all-natural flavored drink. This can spice up the water while the infuser keeps the pulp out of it so that the senior does not have to spit out herbs and pulps when they drink. This will save you money on buying flavored water while encouraging the elderly relative to drink more.
This is a great water bottle when you need to add some flavor to the drinking experience for the senior. The bottle comes with an infuser where you can add in herbs, vegetable and sliced fruit for an all-natural flavored drink. This can spice up the water while the infuser keeps the pulp out of it so that the senior does not have to spit out herbs and pulps when they drink. This will save you money on buying flavored water while encouraging the elderly relative to drink more.
Check the latest price of this product on Amazon.
What does it do? The Vapur is a flexible water bottle that will be a lifesaver for the senior when they are out in the sun where there is the greatest risk of dehydration.
It is common for many people to forget their water when they are going to be out of the house or office. This is even worse for the elderly who tend to be more forgetful given their age.
If the elderly person is going to be out at the gym, riding a bike or taking a hike, pack the bottle full of water and have them take it along. Unlike other bottles, this is a bottle made of flexible material that makes it possible for it to be stowed into a pocket or bag when it is empty. Known as the anti-bottle, it will not add much bulk to their load and hence reduce rehydration. It also comes with a hands-free option so that they can rehydrate without having to stop their hike or bike ride.
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Dehydration: Learn the Basics
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for the hospitalization of the elderly. The major reason for dehydration is a change in body physiology.
While about three-quarters of the human body is made up of water, this significantly changes as one ages. Older adults have about 60% of their bodies as water which makes them easily dehydrated.
Not drinking enough water can be dangerous for seniors since it is a necessary fluid for body functions. Water is used for pumping blood to the muscles, regulating body temperature and lubricating the joints among others.
What makes dehydration even more serious is that it is very easy for the signs of dehydration to go unrecognized. Early dehydration typically presents with muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue and dry mouth. These signs could also be confused with the symptoms of other medical conditions or normal aging.
With long term dehydration a very significant risk for seniors it is important that it is diagnosed early. Additionally, it’s essential to take steps to prevent it from happening or recurring.
Why the Elderly are More Prone to Dehydration?
Dehydration affects between a fifth and a third of the elderly, with up to 48% of the elderly admitted in the hospital having dehydration. So what are some reasons for this phenomenon among the elderly?
1. Physiological Changes. The elderly experience a physiological change as they age, which reduces their body mass. The body’s composition goes from three-quarters water down to about 60% which throws their hydration out of balance as compared to younger adults.
2. Reduced Thirst Sensation. As people age, they tend to have a reduced thirst sensation. This means that the elderly are less likely to know when they need to drink. By the time they are thirsty, they are often in the early stages of dehydration.
3. Reduced Renal Function. Renal function typically declines with age from inadequate functioning of the anti diuretic hormone. This results in the kidneys losing their ability to concentrate urine. With the reduced effectiveness of the kidneys, the elderly tend to urinate more such that they lose more body fluids.
Medical Causes of Dehydration
1. Constipation and High Blood Pressure. Many of the elderly are afflicted with conditions that require them to take specific medications such as laxatives and diuretics that often result in excessive fluid loss.
2. Vomiting and Diarrhea. The elderly are more prone to diarrhea and vomiting due to weakened digestive and immune systems. This can result in excessive fluid loss that leads to dehydration.
3. Stroke and Alzheimer’s. These have been associated with reduced sensation to thirst that results in dehydration from the reduced need to consume fluids.
4. Dementia and Cognitive Problems. The elderly are more prone to forgetfulness due to dementia conditions such as Alzheimer’s. This means they can forget to take their recommended intake of fluids.
How to Identify Dehydration?
As previously mentioned, it is not so easy to diagnose dehydration given that it has a lot of symptoms common to other age-related conditions. However, the most effective way of diagnosing the condition is through laboratory testing. Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include:
- Low urine sodium concentration
- Elevated plasma serum osmolality
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Elevated blood urea nitrogen and creatinine
Dehydration can also be tested by measuring the specific gravity of the elderly’s urine using a dipstick urine test. Another way to check for dehydration is to look out for symptoms and physical signs that include: Dry skin in the armpit, less frequent urination, sunken eyes, high heart rate, delirium, low systolic blood pressure, weakness, and dizziness.
Ways to Get the Elderly to Drink More Water
Due to physiological changes, the elderly tend to drink much less water than they should. However, there are several techniques that can be employed to ensure that they take enough water to prevent chronic dehydration.
Getting the elderly to drink can help prevent major health problems. This means issues such as lower blood pressure, weak and rapid pulse, passing out, blood clot complications, and kidney stones. The following are some hydration tips seniors:
1. Have them Drink from as many sources as possible. You do not have to offer the elderly just water to get them hydrated. Spice it up by offering vegetables, fruits, sweetened beverages, fruit juice, coffee, and tea. If the senior does not like taking fluids, increase the water content in their food to get them properly hydrated.
2. Make water easily accessible. Seniors will sometimes not drink enough water because it is not easily accessible because of their mobility issues. As such, you need to have water on easy access by having a pitcher of water where they spend much of their time.
3. Set up leave notes and reminders. If your elderly family member is getting forgetful, you should have electronic notices around the house to remind them to drink. There are gadgets that include electric memos and clocks that can play when the elderly person has gone for a period without a drink. These can be very effective in solving the problem of dehydration.
4. Serve their drinks at different temperatures. Some elderly persons prefer cold while others love hot drinks. You need to experiment with your iced teas, warm juices, and hot coffees until you find the perfect temperature for the senior.
5. Prepare savory foods. Elders may enjoy drinking hot soup broth, particularly if they have a predilection for savory foods. You can serve the broth in powder, or from a box or can as long as they get their dose of hydration.
6. Make popsicles. One of the best ways to get the elderly to up their fluid intake is by making homemade popsicles. These are a mix of water and fruit juice that make for an excellent treat in the summer. Most elderly people enjoy homemade popsicles and will get their much-needed water from this treat.
7. Give them sports drinks, milkshakes, and smoothies. Some elderly will resist common fluids but will drink sports drinks, milkshakes and smoothies. These have a better texture and flavour and may just get the stubborn elder to drink more.
8. Identify continence issues. Try to find out of the elderly is having continence issues that may make them reluctant to re hydrate. One of the best ways of dealing with this is having a timed toileting approach. This way you can help them get to the bathroom so that they are not so reluctant to drink.
Results of Dehydration
The results of dehydration will depend on the severity of the dehydration and how long the senior has been dehydrated. Over the short term, the physical symptoms listed above will be evident. Older persons will typically be more prone to dizziness and passing out. Persons that have Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia may also experience heightened symptoms of those conditions. For instance, they may realize a deterioration in thinking and more confusion.
Dehydration can also result in the kidneys being less effective and hence the elderly person may experience more urination. Chronic mild dehydration may result in worsening constipation and increase the risk of kidney stones.
Low water intake has also been linked to urinary tract infections and urinary system diseases. These could be embarrassing, painful and uncomfortable and may make the elderly avoid water even more as they do not want to visit the toilet as often.
Long Term Effects of Dehydration
If dehydration is not arrested in time and is left to become chronic, it can result in dangerous health outcomes. Such outcomes can result in increased frequency of hospitalization and even death. Even mild dehydration can adversely impact the elderly’s mental performance that includes reaction time, concentration, attention, and memory.
Common complications that come with dehydration over the long term are increased risk of falling, dizziness, weakness, and low blood pressure. A dehydrated person is also more prone to developing skin conditions and pressure sores.
One of the most critical effects of not having enough water in the body is an increased risk of damaging the kidneys and developing urinary tract infections. The elderly who are suffering from dehydration are at higher risk of developing urinary tract infections and kidney stones over the long term.
The Bottom Line
Dehydration is one of the most common problems afflicting the elderly. It is a dangerous condition that can cause debilitating health conditions and if unchecked even death. However, it is quite a challenging condition to diagnose given that its symptoms mirror those of other common diseases and even normal aging.
Dehydration is caused by several physiological and medical issues. These reasons make the elderly person either unable to determine when they need to re hydrate or unwilling to drink fluids.
The good thing is that now there are modern technologies that you can use to make your senior drink more water. With regard to dehydration, a lot of development that has been made to make it easier for them to rehydrate in a systematic and convenient way. Some of these developments include:
- Bottles that come with apps that track water intake and send notifications to the caregiver’s phone throughout the day.
- Water containers made to enhance the water or juice drinking experience
- Bottles that remind the elderly to take their sip of water if they have gone too long without it
- Convenient water bottles that the elderly can take out with them when they are out and about
- Hydration monitors that tell the elderly or their caregivers how much hydration they need at a certain time
Besides, these technologies include apps and gadgets that improve the drinking experience. They also provide reminders and tracking capabilities for the elderly person and their caregiver. As with most conditions prevention is key. If you ensure that they are hydrated at all times, you can avoid paying huge bills when they develop complications later.
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