Tips For Older Georgians On Preventing Dehydration

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Georgia Department of Human Resources offers Live Healthy Georgia Seniors Taking Charge program with tips to help older individuals avoid becoming dehydrated.

During hot summer days like the ones we are having in Georgia, it is easy to become dehydrated, especially when you are an older adult.

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They are encouraging seniors to take charge of their health by drinking a glass of water with each meal and between each meal, keeping a pitcher of herbal iced tea in the refrigerator, taking water breaks instead of coffee breaks, substituting sparkling water for alcoholic drinks at social events, carrying water during the day and keeping it by your desk at work, in the car, and by your chair while watching television. Avoid sodas because they add calories instead of nutrients.

"We want older adults to have a positive attitude and take steps to prevent dehydration," said Maria Greene, Director of DAS, "Though the Aging Network and our wellness program, we provide helpful tips to assist older individuals, at-risk adults, persons with disabilities, their families and caregivers to achieve, safe, healthy, independent and self-reliant lives.

The body needs a steady supply of water and a good rule to follow is to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses every day (unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so), because it helps the cells, tissues and organs work smoothly. A person may need to drink more than that if he is out in the heat doing physical exercise.

The signs of dehydration range from mild symptoms such as a dry mouth, sleepiness or tiredness, thirst, decreased urination, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness; to severe cases that may indicate a medical emergency like extreme thirst, lack of sweating, low blood pressure, irritability or confusion, lack of sweating, sunken eyes, rapid heartbeat, fever, delirium or unconsciousness.

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