Dehydration during the warmer months is one of the key issues the new Fuel Your Body campaign from WA’s leading falls prevention program, Stay On Your Feet® is aiming to address.
It can be a very real and significant problem among older adults leading to falls and falls related injuries according to Curtin University Accredited Practicing Dietician, Doctor Christina Pollard.
The campaign is designed to give older adults in the community some basic information and guidelines around what a healthy diet looks like as we age as well as safe alcohol and water consumption levels that are safe, easy to follow and cost effective.
Dr Pollard said that a healthy diet was one of the keys to living and ageing well.
“Older adults should eat nutritious foods and keep physically active to help maintain muscle strength and a healthy weight,” she said.
“About 80% of older age health problems could be prevented or delayed by lifestyle changes in the 55-65 year old age group.”
Older adults are also more susceptible to dehydration with the body’s ability to store water decreasing with age.
Dr Pollard said that older adults could experience dehydration due to an inadequate intake of fluids as well as other factors related to the ageing process.
“This may be due to changes in their body composition, decreased metabolic capacity, other disease conditions and medication that they may use to manage them,” she said.
“These may be normal adaptations of the ageing process but the outcomes of dehydration in older people can be serious therefore particular care must be taken to ensure adequate water intake in this age group.”
Health and community care professionals working with older adults in the community can find out more about these issues and more at the forthcoming Fuel Your Body Forum on March 23rd at the Bendat Centre in Wembley.
It promises to be an engaging and educational session that will assist you to identify nutritional issues in older adults, initiate conversations to help them improve their diet and monitor their hydration and alcohol intake and direct them to the appropriate support services.