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Experts in older people’s care offer advice on avoiding heatwave dehydration

Guide

 With thermometers expected to soar over the next few days, nutrition and hydration experts at one of the country’s leading care home providers have urged families and friends to help support older relatives, friends and neighbours to avoid becoming dehydrated with a range of handy tips and advice. 

To make it easy for everyone, Care UK has republished a free booklet which includes recipes that its teams are already using to help residents in its 152 care homes stay hydrated.  

 

The recipes include a range of garnished flavoured waters, mocktails, strawberry iced tea and fruit puree drinks – all of which are tried and tested by residents living in Care UK homes.

As well as drinks, the booklet also helps people to find out more about how different foods can also help with hydration – this is of particular importance in those who may be reluctant to drink.  For example, the book shows how a ripe tomato is actually 94 per cent water, cauliflower is 87 per cent and melon 90 per cent.

The booklet covers every aspect of hydration from why older people are more likely to suffer from dehydration to how to create safer drinks for people who have problems with normal swallowing.

Care UK’s Hotel Services Manager James Clear is proud of the booklet that he and his team have written in-house. He said: “Every single person working in our homes has a role to play in ensuring that people living there are properly hydrated. From a maintenance person sitting down with a resident for a mid-morning cuppa to a carer encouraging people to have a piece of fruit as a snack, every interaction helps.”

When asked what his top hydration tips were for those caring for loved ones in their own home, James said: “Think about presentation of their drinks. That might be making sure a favourite mug or glass is always used.  If it can be done safely – give cold drinks a garnish with fruit slices or herbs. And for hot weather, make sure drinks are served nice and chilled. There’s research from the National Association of Care Catering which demonstrates seeing the condensation droplets running down a glass or jug can actually trigger our thirst mechanisms. But always be careful of any choking risk from ice or garnishes.”

Copies can be downloaded free of charge from the link on this page.  

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