Summer is time for fun in the sun; beach trips, barbecues, and ice cream. And when you’re caring for a senior, summer is also time to make sure you’re keeping your loved one hydrated while they enjoy the warm weather.

Older adults tend to get dehydrated more easily and the impact of dehydration greater. Many of our seniors are on multiple medications. Dehydration can change the way a senior’s body metabolizes medications putting them at greater risk for side effects.

For some, potential embarrassment due to incontinence keeps them from filling their lemonade glass.  Other seniors may have physical limitations like difficulty holding a glass, making them avoid an unpleasant situation.

Keeping your loved one hydrated may require small, clever ways to ensure that enough water is consumed.  Serve your senior plenty of fruits and vegetables, such as melons and jicama, with high water content.  Instead of a glass of plain water, consider getting some carbonated water, putting a slice of citrus or other fruit in to make it a little tastier and more festive.  Or, appeal to the child in them by keeping their freezers well stocked with popsicles, encouraging them to eat as many as they like.

As with many things, the best cure is prevention.  With just a few small steps, you can ensure that your loved one is getting the fluids they need.