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View this email in your browser Dehydration and the Elderly A widespread blanket of increasing rising temperatures is expanding across much of the country. . . . And of course, hot weather always increases the risk of dehydration. Older aging populations are vulnerable to climate change-related health impacts for a number of reasons. The body’s normal aging process causes the body’s systems mechanisms that are meant to protect us from dehydration work less efficiently as we age. The elderly population does not have the same internal thirst signals with age progression and consequently do not take action to reach out for that much needed liquid consumption. Experts generally recommend that older adults consume at least 57.5 fluid ounces or 7.1 cups within a 24 hour period. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-009-0023-z NOTE: Elderly people should not be encouraged to consume large amounts of fluids at once but rather small amounts throughout the day. Factors that put older adults at risk for dehydration include (includes but not limited to): Chronic problems with urinary continence, which can make older adults reluctant to drink a lot of fluids. Memory problems, which can cause older adults to forget to drink often or forget to ask others for something to drink - even mild dehydration, can cause noticeable worsening in confusion or thinking skills. Mobility problems associated with aging, such as muscle and bone loss, which can make it harder for older adults to get something to drink. Older adults are more likely to be taking medications that increase the risk of dehydration, such as diuretic medications, which are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure or heart failure. Dehydration can also be brought on by an acute illness. Older adults are also more likely to have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes, that requires medications for treatment. Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and infection are all problems that can cause people to lose a lot of fluid and become dehydrated. Dehydration also often causes the kidneys to work less well, and in severe cases may even cause acute kidney failure. Additionally, chronic mild dehydration may further exacerbate constipation problems. Physical signs of dehydration may include: high heart rate (usually over 100 beats per minute) low systolic blood pressure dizziness dry mouth and/or dry skin in the armpit less frequent urination dark-colored urine weakness delirium (new or worse-than-usual confusion) sunken eyes Caffeine and Dehydration Coffee or Tea please! We all know only too well how important it is for our seniors to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea while gathering in morning socials to shake off those morning cobwebs and get ready for the day’s events. Is there any other way to start the day? Technically caffeine is considered a weak diuretic. By definition, a diuretic is a product that increases the body’s production of urine. Hence water, or any drink consumed in large volumes, is a diuretic. It should be noted that urinating more does not inevitably lead to dehydration (excessive loss of body water). http://theconversation.com/health-check-does-caffeine-cause-dehydration-73965 Current studies suggest that caffeinated coffee or tea is not proven to be particularly dehydrating in people who drink them regularly. Caffeine, however, may worsen overactive bladder symptoms, so there may be other reasons to be careful about fluids containing caffeine for our senior population. Feel free to offer decaffeinated drinks but if an older person particularly loves her/his morning cup of (caffeinated) coffee, there is no reason why they cannot partake unless it is physician ordered to avoid such liquids. Help Them Stay Hydrated Here are some reasonable approaches to help your seniors remain hydrated during current rising temperatures: Identify continence issues that may make the older person reluctant to drink. Consider a toileting schedule, which means helping the older person get to the bathroom on a regular schedule. This can be very helpful for people with memory problems or mobility difficulties. Offer fluids in small amounts throughout the day; consider doing so on a schedule. Ensuring the appeal of the beverages you offer – they will drink more if they enjoy it. Determine if your senior prefers drinking through a straw. Enlist interdisciplinary staff in your efforts. Track in a journal how much the person is drinking; be sure to note when you try something new to improve fluid intake. Offer more fluids when the senior is ill (seek nursing oversight). Reducing Swallowing Problems by Making Liquids Thicker While you focus on actions to prevent dehydration issues be mindful of anyone with a swallowing disorder, often experienced in the elderly. Normal aging causes reduced muscle tone in the pharynx and esophagus and other changes that affect swallowing. Thickened drinks are normal drinks that have a thickener added to make them thicker. They are often recommended for people who can no longer swallow normal fluids safely, because normal drinks go into their lungs, causing coughing, choking or more serious risks such as chest infections and aspiration pneumonia (seek nursing oversight). More Ways to Keep Seniors Cool in Hot Weather Offer cooling snacks, like popsicles (use cupcake liner to catch drips). Place a cool washcloth on the back of the neck and a pan of cool water close by to periodically re-cool the towel. Meals should be cold like chicken or pasta salad instead of heavy hot dishes like pot roast. Encourage clothing that is lightweight and in light colored cotton so it’s easy to adjust to the temperature throughout the day by removing layers of clothing. https://dailycaring.com/10-tips-to-keep-seniors-cool-in-hot-weather/ Calendar Programs Older people can have a tough time dealing with heat and humidity. The temperature inside or outside does not have to reach 100°F (38°C) to put them at risk for a heat-related illness. Be mindful of the temperatures when planning programs. Restrict your events to locations that offer cool environments. For outings (when applicable), seek senior-friendly places that offer air conditioning (restaurants, shopping malls or stores, public library, art museums, movie theaters). Senior exercise programs may need to be shortened in duration and restricted to easy and simple range of motion programs to prevent over- exhaustion. Do not forget the hydrating liquids! Stay Cool! Have a topic request or question for Celeste? Send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org This course takes you through the Activity Departments required documentation process from the Baseline Care Plan through the final creation of the Comprehensive Care Plan. Particularly focus is tailored to the individuality of the resident and that care plans are in no way intended to be “cookie cutter” care plans. An appropriate and useful care plan begins with an effective and complete individualized assessment. When designing a care plan for each resident the professional must ensure that multiple sources within the Interdisciplinary Team assessments are considered to address the resident’s specific needs. The care plan you write must address these issues. The care plan is a representation of the accumulation of the facility’s assessment process. It is the final compilation of the individual resident’s problems, needs, and strengths. The care plan definitively scopes the resident’s care treatment process, describing conditions to be treated, expected outcomes, and the specific customized care services to be rendered. This course is intended to help you to become more proficient and savvy when it comes to realistic and relevant care plan development. Workshop Objectives: Understand care plan relevance relating to resident treatment Learn how care plans have evolved historically Understand the development process leading to the care plan creation Understand how to implement SMART care plan goals Utilizing IDT assessment tools data for care planning Understanding resident rights in care planning participation Recognize the progress notes and care plan relationship Recognize the initial assessment and monthly calendar relationship Revising the care plan – why or why not Merging care plans – consolidate IDT members contributions When to use short term care plans Understand Rehabilitation care plans Workshop Content: Care Plan Overview – What is this document? The History of Care Plan Development Understanding SMART Goals The Process – Baseline Care Plan to Comprehensive Care Planning Reporting Timeliness Common Care Plan Mistakes Care Plan Examples General Documentation Principles Documentation Corrections About Your Instructor Celeste was involved in the startup of a medical adult day center in the role of Activity Director and worked closely with the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts Chapter during to develop program modules to serve the Alzheimer’s diagnosed participants. She was exclusively instrumental in the successfully implementation of the center’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP); working with the state to create the centers reporting structure and standards for compliance to state specified regulations. Celeste was recognized for her business development contributions and was became the Centers’ Program Director. Celeste has served as consultant and “Guest Instructor” for Activity Directors Network since 2011- supporting the student educational experience in pursuit of Activity Director Certification. She is currently lead instructor for Activity Directors Network and author of the National Activity Professional Training Course (NAPT). Celeste continues to support educational opportunities as the author of The Activity Consultant’s Help Desk since its inception in 2018. This Activity Directors Network newsletter reaches a readership with interest in further developing of their professional knowledge base as senior care industry professionals. She has also written Continuing Education (CEU) courses and has authored the “Behavioral Health Programming Guide for Skilled Nursing Facilities”. Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network. Copyright © 2020 Activity Directors Network, LLC All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 2010 US HWY 190 W Ste 120 Livingston, Texas 77351