We cannot survive without water. In fact, sixty percent of the human body is made up of water, so it makes sense we need to take in lots of fluids to maintain our health. Among its many benefits, water is critical as it regulates body temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, eliminates toxins and aids in digestion. Residents at independent living communities are reminded frequently to take a drink.
At Country Meadows, our retirement communities have co-workers who spread the word about the importance of drinking enough fluid. Since the pandemic, water stations are no longer available in independent living communities, however co-workers find fun ways to push liquids. Whether it’s a tropical themed “happy hour” cart filled with non-alcoholic, healthy beverages, fruit smoothies in a common area or healthy snacks, independent living communities find ways to make hydration enjoyable.
Why are fluids especially important in independent living communities?
A lack of fluids can result in dehydration, and older adults, including those who reside at independent living communities are among the most at-risk. Dehydration can occur at any time, especially when you don’t take in more fluid than your body uses to perform normal functions. Common causes of dehydration might include health issues such as diarrhea and/or vomiting. Additionally certain medications frequently prescribed to individuals living at independent living communities may increase dehydration risks.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of dehydration include:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
If dehydration symptoms are not taken seriously, it can quickly become a medical emergency. According to Country Meadows’ Vice President of Clinical & Support Services, Lisa Torchia, RN, “Dehydration can put us all at risk for complications including death. In addition to these symptoms, another symptom may be lack of thirst, which is a bit ironic,” adding, “It is important that if it’s hot outside and you have a headache and are very tired, take that as a sign that you should drink more liquids.”
Ideas to make water tastier
Older adults living at independent living communities are offered fun and tasty ways to up their fluid intake. If you aren’t a fan of water, fear not: here are some ideas to make it a bit tastier.
- Freeze fruit juices in an ice tray to enjoy flavored ice cubes in a plain glass of water.
- Add slices of fresh or frozen fruit to a pitcher or glass of water for easy flavor.
- Add a dash of a flavor extract such as vanilla or mint for a sweet taste without the calories.
- Fill your class of water with crushed ice. Savor the ice as you drink to provide interesting textures to your mouth.
In addition to drinking water and other beverages, you can get much-needed hydration from foods. That’s why many independent living communities include menu items such as fresh fruits and vegetables and soups at meals. Most foods contain some water, especially whole foods. These fruits and vegetables contain a high-water content:
|Vegetables||Percent Water||Fruits||Percent Water|
|Red tomato||94%||Strawberries and watermelon||92%|
|Cucumber and lettuce||96%||Grapefruit||91%|
|Celery and Zucchini||95%||Cantaloupe||90%|
|Eggplant and spinach||92%||Oranges and pineapple||87%|
Country Meadows can help you or your older loved one enjoy the outdoors. Country Meadows has nine locations in Pennsylvania and one campus location in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best independent living communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs. The services within our independent living communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living, memory support and independent living. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information about our independent living communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our independent living communities and answer any other questions you might have.