The importance of good nutrition spans the generations, but as we age, our dietary requirements change. Seniors need to concentrate on eating foods with a high nutrient density—that is, whole, natural, fresh foods that are packed with essential nutrients and fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, healthy sources of protein and low-fat dairy products.
Seniors are at a higher risk of dehydration than younger adults. In fact, one study showed that up to 48% of seniors were dehydrated upon admission to the emergency department for other issues. Staying hydrated keeps the cardiovascular system healthy. Proper hydration positively affects both blood pressure and heart rate.
Because more than sixty percent of the human body is made up of water, staying hydrated is important to keep our bodies functioning properly. Elderly adults are among the most at risk groups for dehydration, one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization after age 65. Because of the potentially serious consequences of this condition to seniors, as a caregiver it’s important to recognize the causes and symptoms of dehydration as well as how you can help your loved one stay properly hydrated.