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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Alzheimer’s whispers: why drinking water is good for dementia

Many people with dementia do not drink enough fluids, leading to dehydration and other complications. And because the symptoms of dehydration are similar to those of dementia – confusion and fatigue – it’s easy to overlook the condition.

Dehydration is dangerous at any age.

However, in older people, dehydration can lead to complications that can include headaches, urinary tract infections often accompanied by hospitalization, constipation, kidney stones, and even kidney failure. Low potassium and sodium levels can even lead to seizures. And many medications, including diuretics, only exacerbate the situation.

Common signs of dehydration include:

  • Increased confusion or change in normal behavior
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Spasms in the muscles of the arms and legs
  • Headaches, nausea and dizziness
  • Changes in urinary frequency and / or color or odor. While certain medications and vitamins can make your urine darker, don’t discount the possibility of dehydration.

This is why a person with dementia can easily develop dehydration:

  • They cannot express the desire for liquid.
  • Unaware they are thirsty or unable to associate drinking with soothing thirst
  • They forget to drink fluids.
  • A fear of water is not uncommon and can cause intense anxiety and excitement when performing water-related tasks such as drinking water, bathing, and showering. Even the sound of water can cause fear
  • Difficulty swallowing or dysphagia leading to fear of choking.
  • If they are not eating, especially when cutting back on foods that can aid in the processing of fluids, if mobility problems interfere or discourage someone from reaching for a drink or taking a walk for a drink
  • Side effects of medications
  • As people age, their feeling of thirst and desire for fluid changes. This may mean that they don’t feel thirsty even if they don’t drink enough.

Once you determine which of these might be troubling your loved one, you can better approach the issue.

Here’s how to help someone with dementia drink more fluids:

  • Encourage them to drink throughout the day. The recommended amount of liquid is 8 to 10 glasses, or 10 to 13 cups per day.
  • Make sure they have a drink handy when they eat or perform any activity.
  • Use clear glass so that the person can see what’s inside; or try different colorful cups for eye-catching and visual enjoyment
  • To easily count your drinks, label BPA-free water bottles with numbers from 1 to
  • Make sure the drink is within reach.
  • Offer different drinks throughout the day to diversify, make it fun and “new”. Try flavored water, water sliced ​​cranberry juice, other fruit juices, or teas.
  • Make sure the taste, texture and temperature are to their liking. Soda or drinks taste different from flat ones and may match different preferences.
  • Drinking is a priority. Unhealthy or “empty high-calorie” drinks are still liquid.
  • Make sure the cup or glass fits – not too heavy or too complex.
  • Add flavor, color, texture and nutrients: For sweets, try hot chocolate with marshmallows! Add the mint!
  • Add vegetables, including leafy greens, celery, cucumbers, spinach, colorful bell peppers, and broccoli. Other good choices are clear soup and bone broth. Add asparagus to stir
  • Dive into the benefits twice by choosing high-liquid foods such as watermelon, celery, jelly, ice cream, popsicles, and yogurt.
  • Remember that alcohol and caffeine can increase dehydration.

In the early stages of dementia, many may not remember when they last drank.

With mild dementia, some may forget how to drink, such as turning on the tap, positioning cups or glasses, or being able to serve or pour.

In later stages, the risks can be even more serious if you are unable to identify or express thirst to others. At any of these stages, the dehydrated person is upset by not drinking.

If someone is dehydrated, they may need intravenous fluids. Prevention is key until medical attention is needed.

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World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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