Letters to the Editor

Stay hydrated this summer

Summer is here and so is the potential for dehydration. People with dementia often don’t recognize their thirst (or hunger) and keeping them hydrated takes some creativity.

Using flavored waters (with sugar or sugar substitute) in an attractive glass or cup, a relaxed setting, having a beverage at the same time; these are all things to try and see what works. Popsicles, Jell-O, clear broths are also fluid sources. Dehydration will show itself through an increase in confusion, reduced urination/concentrated urine, dizziness/weakness and reduced sweating for example. If the person can only drink small amounts at a time, make them frequent. When urination has increased and the color is clear you’re doing well.

The warmer temperature, physical activity, certain medications, age and lung disease are examples of things that increase the chance of dehydration. Alcoholic beverages are not a good replacement, the alcohol increases dehydration. Keep the water flowing, it does a body good!

Kristi Huffman, L.P.N.,

Executive director

North Whidbey Caregivers’ Cove

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