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Solutions for Dehydration and Water Fatigue

Three women seated at a table toast with glasses of thickened beverages over lunch.

Dehydration is often an overlooked health risk for seniors. While everyone can experience dehydration, the symptoms are usually less apparent in older adults.[i] For example, if you have been walking out in the hot summer sun for two hours, you will likely feel thirsty or even lightheaded if you are not maintaining proper hydration; however, as one ages, the feeling of thirst diminishes. Seniors have less water in their bodies than younger adults or children, so by the time they feel thirsty, they are likely already dehydrated.

At least one in five older adults in long-term care has dehydration due to not drinking enough fluids,[ii] making it a real danger that must be proactively avoided. A body water loss of one to two percent can impair cognitive performance,[iii] and left untreated, dehydration can limit the body’s ability to fight infections and lead to kidney failure, seizure, or even death[iv].

Additionally, many older adults tend to consume water as the main source of hydration each day. This can lead to water fatigue and reduced acceptability in residential care, diminishing intake of dehydration-fighting fluids.

Due to lack of thirst, water fatigue, and difficulty recognizing symptoms of dehydration, many caregivers and medical staff must encourage seniors to drink fluids even when they do not feel thirsty. To fight dehydration and combat water fatigue, the Thick-It® brand offers a variety of hydration solutions, including convenient and flavorful beverages and snacks with added electrolytes to help the body stay hydrated and balanced.

Clear Advantage® Plus Electrolytes Thickened Beverages are the latest in the Thick-It® line of xanthan-based, ready-to-drink beverages. Pre-thickened to an IDDSI Level 2 Mildly Thick (nectar) consistency and mixed with a blend of essential electrolytes, the single-serve, resealable bottles are convenient for use at home or on the go — no measuring or mixing required. They are available in refreshing grape and fruit punch flavors to bring new variety to the dysphagia diet.

While seniors are more at risk for dehydration for many reasons, the Thick-It® brand offers a variety of hydration solutions for seniors with swallowing difficulties to defeat dehydration before it starts.  Learn more about the Thick-It® brand’s suite of hydration solutions that can help defeat dehydration and combat water fatigue on our website.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, treatment, or the use of Thick-It® or Sqwincher® products. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment in any manner.

[i]Drink Up: Dehydration is an Often Overlooked Health Risk for Seniors,” Cleveland Clinic, Nov. 2018.
[ii] Bunn D., Hooper L., Welch A. Dehydration and Malnutrition in Residential Care: Recommendations for Strategies for Improving Practice Derived from a Scoping Review of Existing Policies and Guidelines. Geriatrics.  2018;3:77.
[iii]  Riebl, S. K., & Davy, B. M. (2013). The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. ACSM’s health & fitness journal17(6), 21–28.
[iv] Leeflang, Jennifer. Hydration Tips for Seniors.

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