When most people think about dehydration, the first thing that comes to mind is hot weather and dry it conditions. As a family caregiver, it is important to realize that dehydration is not just a concern during the hot summer months, but the winter season can still be very dangerous for an elderly adult not getting enough fluid. In fact, some factors can make the potential for dehydration even higher during the winter months.
Understanding this can help you to put steps into place to make sure your senior does not fall victim to dehydration and experience of potentially serious consequences, and continues to get the fluids they need to keep their body healthy at all times.
Some reasons dehydration is a serious concern during the winter season include:
- The body’s thirst response is decreased by up to 40% in cold weather. This means your elderly loved one is even less likely than they already are to experience thirst signals. The body reduces thirst signals at the same time it begins to reduce flow of blood to the extremities in order to conserve heat. This means your elderly loved one is going to be less likely to drink throughout the day because they don’t think they need it.
- When temperatures drop, the body stops signaling various symptoms to conserve water. This not only means the various systems use more water, but the kidney is also producing more urine, which further increases the possibility of dehydration.
- Cold weather actually makes sweat evaporate faster. This can cause tremendous water loss and also gives the impression that you are not sweating, which is a signal many people used to tell them they need to drink.
- Respiratory water loss is more significant in colder temperatures. The lower the temperature, the more water is lost through breathing.
When it comes to helping your aging parent live in more independent lifestyle, it can seem strange to think that the solution may be introducing another layer of care. Bringing senior care into your parents care routine, however, can actually be one of the most effective and meaningful ways to promote Independence and autonomy or your loved one.
As a family caregiver, you are often responsible for fulfilling a wide range of needs for your parents, from bringing them where they need to go to running their errands for them, to helping them take care of their home, and more. This can leave your parents feeling as though they have to structure their entire life around you and your availability.
An in-home senior care services provider, however, can ease this and promote a greater sense of autonomy by allowing your parent to take on more of their own tasks, go where they need and want to go on their own schedule, and complete tasks in ways that are accessible for them while getting the help they need to handle others without always having to rely on you.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Westwood MA, or anywhere in Eastern Massachusetts, please call the caring staff at CARE Resolutions – (508) 906-5572.