Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

03rd February 2016

How hot should tea be?

Hello Sheila.

I am a lead trainer in the health and social care sector, A question that has popped up time and again is. How hot should a cup of tea be for dementia residents?
Taking into account persona choice, knowing the resident etc. Plus knowing that 60 degrees of hot water can cause 3 degree burns.

Do you have an information on this?



Dear Sean,

Thank you for your question which I found challenging so we sent it to our Health and Safety Adviser who said that from a health and safety point of view there is no temperature recorded or written that gives any guidance, so on this one common sense prevails.

She went on to say:

“The ability to judge the temperature of drinks and food can become difficult for people with dementia. A recommendation would be to ensure that food and drink are not too hot or too cold. Make a reasonable judgement and be cautious. If the cup feels too hot then the liquid within it will be. Equally if the cup is cold then the fluid within will be unpalatable. Always listen to the person for feedback when they are eating and drinking. If they indicate there is something wrong with the food or drink investigate why and respond accordingly".

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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