If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And if you live alone, chances are you don’t drink a full glass of water with meals as you might when family members join you.
You also may only sip water when taking medications to avoid bathroom trips later.
Because our bodies are 70 percent water, staying hydrated—especially in warmer weather—is as crucial to good health as diet, exercise and sleep. Certain medications also can deplete our bodies of fluids
Proper hydration improves digestion, circulation, regulation of body temperature and healing. It also can reduce constipation, blood clotting, chances of stroke, heart attack, as well as bladder and kidney infections, and kidney stones.
Here are some tips to increase your water consumption:
- Strive to drink at least one quart of water a day. Filling a pitcher each day can help your success. While coffee, tea and juice count, try to avoid too much coffee because it’s a diuretic and can deplete your body of water.
- Use a Britta filter if you are concerned about water contaminants. To liven up taste, add lemon or cucumber slices or strawberries to fresh water stored daily in your refrigerator.
- If you are diabetic, it’s very important to get enough fluids. Try sugar free drinks, or try diluting juices so you can enjoy flavor, reduce sugar, and increase water intake.
- Add fruits and vegetables with high water content—cucumbers, melons, citrus fruits and Honey Crisp apples—to your list of daily treats.
- Eat Jell-O, homemade and low-sodium soups and broths.
- Take a water bottle with you when you run errands.
- To avoid bathroom trips at night, consume most of your daily fluids before 6 p.m.
If tasks such as filling a water pitcher, diluting juices, cutting up cucumber and melons, and preparing broths are too challenging, you may want to consider asking a family member or private homecare provider to help.
By assisting with these tasks, a private homecare provider can make sure you have many healthful sources of hydration. They can also help with housekeeping, managing medications, bathing and dressing, whether you are living with a chronic condition or recuperating from surgery or rehab.
Kathy Semrow R.N, director of Life Care at Home, a not-for-profit provider of private in-home personal care, shares her 42 years of nursing experience.