Preventing Dehydration and Malnutrition in the Elderly
If you want to ensure the person you care for continues to get enough nourishment, follow these simple steps:
- Encourage small but frequent meals
- Find out what foods they enjoy eating
- Avoid over repetition of the same meals
- Serve suitable portion sizes
- Encourage a glass of water or juice between and during meals
- Ensure water and juice is accessible in the environment the resident is in
- Offer different choices of drinks
- Staff training to recognise the importance of hydration
- Determine individual daily fluid intake goals
- Provide aids for drinking if needed
- Try to avoid coffee, alcohol and high-protein drinks especially in large quantities because they have a diuretic effect and can lead to loss of body water and exacerbate dehydration
- Monitor the senior’s daily fluid intake by creating a hydration schedule
The recommended daily intake of water per day to maintain optimum hydration is 8 to 10 glasses. Strategies to increase fluid intake in residential care homes include identifying and overcoming barriers to drinking including reduced social drinking and drinking pleasure. These strategies may include providing a happy hour to encourage families and visitors to offer fluids.
Increasing awareness of hydration practices in the care setting can make a difference to health and quality of life and have a massive impact on the welfare of others. We have some solutions to preventing dehydration in the workplace with our juice and water dispensers that can provide you with unlimited fluids for your residents in the care setting.