70% of our body is made of water, so it is easy to understand the importance of staying hydrated and keeping ourselves topped up on the fluids we lose throughout the day. Around 300- 500 mls per-day is expelled just through breathing alone!
There are many people who, as they become older, become less interested in drinking adequate amounts. It is sometimes especially difficult to encourage those with Alzheimer’s to drink enough throughout the day as they might simply forget that they need to drink. If faced with this issue we can think outside the box and get creative in the way we offer fluids.
Foods are important when considering hydration. There are many hydrating foods – fruits and vegetables being the most hydrating.
Making fresh fruit platters and offering them around is a great idea, or plates of cucumber, tomato and cheese are fresh and hydrating snacks.
There are also effective and fun activities which could also encourage an increased fluid intake:
- Making a small bar area and serving a variety of mocktails is a fun way of offering drinks
- Having a garden party and inviting people to come outside to enjoy a cold drink and a social gathering
- Experimenting with different glasses and beverages to see if some glasses are easier to drink from than others
- Making fruit kebabs is a lovely activity to get people involved with trying fruits, and maybe experimenting with some they haven’t tried for a while
- Reminiscing about different foods and drinks can bring back strong memories and encourage extra hydration; flavours such as dandelion and burdock, cream soda or homemade lemonade
- Tasting sessions can be an effective way of ‘getting more sips into the day’. Making a tray up of shot glasses containing various flavoured drinks and offering them as a taster can be a sociable, inclusive and hydrating activity.
The Hydrate in Care Homes Project has put together a fantastic A-Z of Hydration Activities full of great ideas to keep hydration at the top of the agenda.