Family Caregiver Ideas | Healthy Hydration Tips from Give a Care
Staying hydrated can be a surprisingly difficult task for someone who requires care. Don’t miss these important tips and caregiver ideas for boosting hydration and overall health for the person you care for!
- Measure, measure, measure. Write it down if you need to, or simply keep track in your head throughout the day of how many ounces of liquid your loved one has had to drink. Use pre-measured bottles so you can do a quick tally in the evening. For example, in the afternoon I can think back and know mom has had 2 16 oz. bottles of water, 8 oz. of ensure and 4 oz. of juice, just by the size of bottles and cups those beverages come in. That helps me plan on how much more fluids to give her the rest of the day.
- Check blood pressure. Check your loved one’s blood pressure with a simple wrist monitor daily or a cuff if you have one. If their blood pressure is below normal for them, add on some additional fluids as soon as possible.
- Find a good thickener. If you are taking care of someone with dysphagia and all of their liquids need to be thickened, find an easy to make, easy to drink thickener that will ensure staying hydrated is simple. We like SimplyThick gel out of a bottle pump as opposed to powder that can get clumpy or overthickened.
- Eat fruits and veggies. Fresh fruits and steamed vegetables are naturally going to have a lot of water in them. Make sure your loved one is getting plenty in their meals; and for dysphagia patients, veggie soups and fruit smoothies will add extra hydration to their diet.
- Keep liquids on hand. Don’t forget to pop a couple bottles of water, ice tea or sports drinks into the car to have on hand in case you find yourself out and about and your loved one needs something to drink. For dysphagia patients, pre-thicken water bottles to take with you on trips and to appointments – simply remember to shake before serving.
- Drink when alert. Taking care of someone with an illness or who is at an age where they tire easily? Struggling to push fluids on someone who is fatigued is a lost cause. Make sure your loved one is getting plenty to drink when they are awake and alert.
- Add variety. Water, water, water is the most important fluid your love one should be getting as much as possible of, but adding in healthy juices (orange, apple, pomegranate) and electrolyte-filled drinks like gatorade are great ideas to keep appetites for hydration up too. Just watch for sugar overload and avoid high fructose corn syrup drinks like sodas and some juices.
- Take a full glass of water with meds. If your loved one is on medicine, a great way to boost hydration is going ahead and having them drink a full 8 to 16 oz. of fluids when they have their medicine.
Bonus: Make healthy hydration a routine! A routine schedule for beverages can be the easiest way to manage optimal fluid intake for your loved one. Have the same amount of fluids at designated times throughout the day to make sure you don’t miss any, and pick up on warning signs like decreased blood pressure and low energy.
Thanks for checking out these healthy hydration caregiving tips from Give a Care! What would you add to the list?