Water and hydration are so important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle at all ages, but especially in later years. Water is one of the greatest sources of energy.
The list of benefits and importance of water and proper hydration could go on and on, but here are a few key reasons:
- Aids in digestion
- Helps resident’s medications function better
- Combats fatigue and drowsiness keeping residents focused and more alert
- Flushes out unwanted bacteria in bladder and kidneys
- Aids in heart health – the more hydrated the less the heart has to work
There are many opinions on how much water one should drink each day. According to the Mayo Clinic, they recommend 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day as the average but can be adjusted to fit individual needs. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume roughly 3.0 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Residents here at English Rose Suites get water with each meal in addition to coffee, juice, or milk. Our staff encourages residents to drink water during all meal times as well as after exercise and throughout the day.
Walk into the kitchen at any one of our homes you will see blue water bottles. Each individually labeled for every resident. Staff fill the water bottles every morning with fresh ice cold water. We do whatever we can to make water more appealing to our residents.
Water bottles help staff track how much water each resident is drinking during the day. At night, smaller water bottles are filled and placed next to each resident’s bed and offered water whenever they wake up. This is a great sight reminder for both the residents and the caregivers to drink more water. The goal is to have each resident drink two full water bottles on the AM and PM shift.
Variety is important with everything. It is no lie that water can be boring and frankly unappealing at times, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to flavor water naturally. To change things up and take advantage our herb gardens, we like to add fresh herbs and fresh fruit to water to create a natural flavored water. Each of our homes has an herb garden in the spring and summer.
Citrus fruits and berries are great to add to flavor water. Cucumbers are great too! Mint, basil, and rosemary add a wonderful flavor to water. Though don’t limit yourself, it could be fun to come up with your favorite combination of herbs and fruits. Don’t limit yourself to just ice water. Drinking a hot cup of water with lemon is a great alternative to coffee or tea in the morning. Do you have a favorite flavored or fruit infused water recipe? Let us know in the comments below and maybe we will try it out.