Drinking Water and Aging in Place

The moans are almost audible, “Not another article about drinking water”. It does seem every time we turn around, the media is pushing the miracle drink, but it’s still a battle to get some people to drink enough.

Me, for example. It wasn’t until after the third kidney stone that I finally heeded my doctor’s simple advice. “Drink more water.” That was over a decade ago and no kidney stones since. Like most slow learners, once I get it I keep it. So, why is water such a big deal? It’s the stuff of which we are made. Blood is 83% water and muscle is 75%. How about the brain? 74% and bone is 22%. Of course, if it matters when we’re young, it becomes crucial as we age.

Drinking water helps flush things out and keep the plumbing working. It affects our weight and our attitude. When we are dehydrated our blood becomes thicker. That makes it move slower and it should come as no surprise that we go slower too: mind and body.

Kidney stones are just one of many ailments for which lack of sufficient water is a risk factor. What we thought were signs of dementia in my dad turned out to be confusion related to dehydration. (Dad hated to drink water.)

How about a beauty secret that is almost as old as time? Water moisturizes our skin.

According to research at Loma Linda University, water even helps prevent heart disease. Of 20,000 men and women studied, those drinking 5 or more glasses of water a day were less likely to die of a heart attack than those who drank less than 2 glasses a day.

Most of us wake up thirsty. So, start the day with a tall glass of juice or water. Then just keep some water near by the rest of the day. Having water near seems to make us thirsty.

Water: it’s a cheap, easy way to be healthier. After all, Aging in Place doesn’t happen by accident.

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About the author

Scott Funk has specialized in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgages for over a decade. He is a recognized Aging in Place advocate in his home state of Vermont. His monthly newspaper column Aging in Place has run for 7 years in 24 papers around the state. Scott is brings a lighthearted approach to his talks on Boomers, retirement and aging on purpose.