Dehydration can kill

Dehydration can kill
An introductory session into the benefits
of good hydration in older people
Session Objectives
• Understand the role of fluid in the body
• The importance of enough fluid daily
• Recognise the signs and risks of dehydration
Water is essential to life
"Water is a basic nutrient of the human body and is
critical to human life”
World Health Organization - Water Sanitation and Health (WSH)
Almost 700 deaths in 5 years in care homes due
to dehydration
How many of you have drunk a glass of water
today ?
Hydration Awareness Quiz
The Cost of Dehydration
• Correct hydration alone could lead to savings of
£0.95 billion
• i.e in Leeds - Dehydration as the primary cause of
treatment cost the local health care trusts £1.4
million in 2009
• 30% of people admitted to hospital are
Role of Fluids in the Body
• Primary role to satisfy your thirst
Dissolves substances in our bodies
Acts as coolant, lubricant and transport agent
Regulates body temperature
Carries nutrients
Removes toxins and waste materials
Medium for cellular reactions
( all cells need water)
What happens to the fluid we drink
Water is lost daily:
• Breathing
• Sweat
• Urine
• Faeces
Point to remember -
The older the person the greatest risk of
Often becoming dehydrated before they know it.
Identifying Dehydration
• Thirst
• Urine –
– Colour
Reduced frequent
Aching joints
Identifying Dehydration
Skin flushing
Shriveled skin
Dry skin, mouth or chapped lips
Furrowed tongue
Dry and/or sunken eyes
Drop in blood pressure
Rise in pulse
Weight loss.
Identifying Dehydration
Loss of appetite
Difficulty swallowing
Lack of fluid intake
Heat intolerance
Nausea and vomiting
Absence of sweat
Changes in mental status - confused
• Reminders
Use posters from
Water UK website.
People in Care
They need at least 1.6 litres of fluid per day – 8 x
8 oz. cups .. the same as you!
The heavier the person the more fluid they need
What are the problems and barriers to those
you support not drinking enough water
throughout the day ?
Fear of an Accident
• Plan the water intake
Toilets accessible
Go before the urge is too great
Reduce before bedtime
• More fluid reduces the need to go
It’s not as concentrated!
Dehydration is linked with ....
Pressure Sores
Urinary Infections & Continence
Kidney & Gallstones
Heart Disease
Low Blood Pressure
Dehydration is linked with …
• Diabetes
• Reduced Cognitive Impairment
– Mental performance
– Confusion
• Falls
• Hospitalisation in older people
– Increased length with heart disease
– Mortality increases two fold with strokes
• Skin
• Cancer – water helps dilute the toxins
The role of you the carer
• Ensure fluids are freely available
• Physically accessible
• Encourage service users to drink –especially
between meals
• Consume more fruit & veg which are approx
80-90% water
How to increase fluid intake
• Have fluids readily available
• Explain that decreasing fluid intake does not decrease
• Offer fluids after providing care
• Offer type/temperature of fluids people like
• Involve family members
• Offer small amounts of fluid frequently
• Offer ice cubes
• Provide good oral hygiene
• Encourage people to drink all fluids offered with
meals and medication
• Encourage fluid-rich foods
How to increase fluid intake
Use lightweight water jug and cup
Use assistive drinking devices
Offer assistance if needed
Offer full cup of water with medications
Use verbal prompts when needed
Position person properly in order they can drink
Monitor room temperature
Add cup holders to wheelchairs
Give people water bottles to carry around
Take fluids on outings and offer frequently
Include beverage break in all activities
The benefits to you
• Less urine / incontinence to deal with
• Less complex issues / support plans
Bottom slide !
• Encourage service users to drink regularly ..
Especially between meals
• Drink a variety of fluids
• Drink enough fluid through out the day
..and remember the more active they are the
more fluid they need.
Increase fluids during acute illness & hot
Any Questions ?
internet details
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