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29th March 2017

Top tips for keeping older people hydrated

National Food and Hydration Week aims to raise the importance of getting these elements right for all of us. With the help of our friends and supporters at Unilever Food Solutions, we have produced and widely circulated Top Tips for keeping older people in care settings hydrated. Naturally, because we are NAPA, we have angled some of them towards making offering drinks and Activity in itself.

  • Only offer small water jugs that are not full to the brim. Many older people find a full jug too heavy to lift and fear spilling
  • Ensure the water is not warm, cold water is much nicer.
  • Water glasses should also be small, easy to grip and not too heavy.
  • Position drinks so that they are in sight and easily in reach.
  • Reminders to drink are needed as the thirst sensation deteriorates in older age.
  • Have a drink with them – social drinking is so much more acceptable.
  • Make sure that the toilets are clearly marked and accessible. A fear of incontinence can lead to limiting the intake of fluids.
  • Liquid comes in many forms so vary what you offer day to day to avoid boredom and stimulate interest.
  • Offer a choice of still or sparkling water if possible. Just being offered a choice can lead to a worthwhile conversation.
  • Make drinking fun. Add decorations to the glass or prepare mock cocktails.
  • Run Taster Sessions. Offer a range of different drinks and invite comments and discussion about them.
  • Jazz up cordials by mixing them or adding soft fruits.
  • Tea or coffee is routinely offered but is there a choice of teas i.e. fruit tea, peppermint tea, earl grey etc. Is decaffeinated on offer as many more people drink it now?
  • Have a coffee pot on the go in communal areas as the smell can stimulate thirst.
  • Soda water added to cordials can make a change from still drinks.
  • Offer savoury drinks like hot Marmite as an alternative sometimes. Supper time drinks need to be filling but don’t just offer milky ones. Smoothies go down well at bedtime too.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Topics: Activity NAPA

Sylvie Silver

Activities Specialist

Sylvie is the Executive Director of NAPA responsible for all aspects of the charities work. NAPA is recognised as the ‘thought leader’ around Activity Provision and Sylvie is the key influencer in achieving this. Sylvie‘s hands on experience was gained working in a nursing home for older people and prior to that with Adults with Learning Disabilities. Since then she has worked with, and trained, hundreds of care staff from senior management to grassroots workers to raise the profile of the importance of meaningful engagement and a life full of love and laughter. Read more

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