In the 10 years I have worked with the elderly a very preventable health issue has come up time, and time again- dehydration. The consiquenses of dehydration can have profound and sometimes fatal effects.I have seen many fracture due to falls from inadaquate fluid intake, and so starting a downward spiral to quality of life.
Did you know that the less you drink, the less thirsty you become? I have had many patients say to me "Why should I drink? I'm not thirsty".
Well, older folks STILL have the same fluid requirements as the youth. You need a cup of water for every 20 pounds of your weight every day. Water helps us regulate our body temperature, blood pressure and helps us eliminate waste.
Dehydration can cause sudden drops in blood pressure effecting balance, as well as urinary tract infections and changes in mental status. As we age, many of us have diminished kidney function and a more sedintary lifestyle, comtributing to poor blood pressure and ability to pass waste. Fluids can help prevent many of these problems.
Personally, I find drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day daunting. Try this, have a glass of water in addition to what you drink at mealtimes, then drink several small glsses of water throughout the day. Leave out a glass to remind yourself. And, by the way, ice cream counts as a fluid. Truly, this is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.
*Free Blood Pressure Clinic- Monday, Oct. 13th from noon to 1:00 p.m. at the United Church of Christ Parish House. For information call VNA Northwest at 860-567-6000 or go to vnanw.org.
*Senior Luncheon-Tuesday Oct. 14th from 11:30 to 1:00 at the Wandering Moose Cafe`. Savory sup for swingin' seniors at a swell price. No reservations necessary. For information call Jane P. at 860-672-6101.
*Adaptive (chair) Yoga-Mondays 5:30 to 6:30 at the Souterrain Gallery (under the Wish House). For info. call Nancy Opgaard at 860-248-3147.
*Qigong Class-Wednesdays 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. or 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the U.C.C. Day Room. Gentle stretching, flowing movements and meditative practices. For info. call the church office at 860-672-6840.
*Mahjong- Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the Cornwall Library. Come play the game that originated in China. Bginners welcome, just drop in! For information call the library at 860-672-6874.
*Meditation-Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. or Sundays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Discussion followed by a 1/2 hour practice. Beginners welcome! Call Debra for info. and location at 860-672-0229.