Research has also shown that between 6-30% of people over age 65 are hospitalized for some form of dehydration. The major cause is the lack of fluid intake. This is often attributed to patients not having the sensation of “thirst”, and not recognizing the signs/symptoms of dehydration such as a sense of dizziness, dry mouth, headache, or a feeling of tiredness. Another reason noted by patients is their desire to avoid frequent, inconvenient trips to the bathroom, and lastly a fear associated with spontaneous incontinence or loss of bladder control. (Konings, F., Mathijssen, J., Schellingerhout, J., Kroesbergen, I., Goede de, J., & Goor de, I. (2015).
The benefits of proper hydration aid the body in getting rid of waste - through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Proper hydration also keeps body temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and assists in protecting sensitive tissues.
How much fluid should adults drink per day? About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women (Mayo Clinic Staff,1998-2018). Tips to encourage/increase hydration are as follows: make it a game/encourage the use of colored drinking glasses, incorporate more fluids into other foods such as soups and less sugary beverages like vegetable juices and non-caffeinated beverages such as herbal teas and fruit juices, and making fluids easily accessible.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Water: How much should you drink per day? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256