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Proper hydration prevents disease and reduces the need for medication

Especially amongst the elderly, staying properly hydrated helps reduce the need for medication

MILAN – Staying well-nourished and hydrated is a basic component of taking care of one’s health, avoiding disease and as a result, reducing the use of medication. While in the past few years, the nutritional help and attention given to malnutrition have had a positive boost, hydration has in some cases been neglected. No small error, as the British portal Hydrate for Health, explains, given the sense of wellbeing which water can guarantee for our bodies.

Hydration reduces our need for medication

Adequate hydration enhances our sense of wellbeing, reduces our need for medication and helps prevent disease. For most adults, dehydration is a problem which can be quickly resolved. However, for the elderly, dehydration is the commonest cause of electrolyte imbalance and this can have a significant effect over a long period. To avoid this it is vital to follow the rules for hydration, maintaining a high quality of life and guaranteeing correct water intake for the elderly. Regardless of this preventive measure, dehydration is still a big problem for elderly people admitted to care homes.

The effects of aging

Aging reduces the water content of our bodies and out thirst reflex is diminished. People usually see thirst as a sign indicating the need to drink. For the elderly, this cannot be taken as a precise indicator of the body’s need for fluids. In this way, the difficulties of swallowing, mobility and a sensory impairment, can create obstacles to maintaining adequate hydration. However, there are a series of risks which are not associated with the physical capacity to drink. If the elderly have to rely on other people, there is always the risk that they are not drinking enough. Understanding the patient and understanding their illness will help maintain hydration at the prescribed levels.

by editorial staff