Knowsley Older People's Voice

Improving Hydration in Knowsley Care Homes

Knowsley Council’s Public Health Team are leading on a project to improve hydration in Knowsley Care and Nursing Homes, with the potential to extend this to Extra Care and Domiciliary settings in the near future.

This is a collaborative project with contributions from Knowsley Council, Knowsley CCG, Northwest Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Healthwatch Knowsley.

Why keep hydrated?

Good hydration can help prevent falls, urinary tract infections, constipation, kidney stones, blood pressure problems, headaches and other serious health conditions. Even mild dehydration can affect mental performance such as memory, concentration, reaction time and increased feelings of tiredness.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is the loss of water and salts that are essential for normal body function.  The human body is made up of 70% water and water is essential to the normal working of the body.  It helps to lubricates joints, eyes, aids digestion and flushes out waste and toxins. Older people are particularly vulnerable to becoming dehydrated due to physiological changes associated with ageing. These include deterioration in kidney function, not having a sense of thirst and a reduction in muscle mass where most water in the body is stored. A decline in physical state for example, arthritis, poor mobility, loss of sight, cognitive impairment and/or swallowing difficulties may also influence an older person’s ability to obtain and consume fluids.  However, some people may have been advised to restrict fluid intake if they have a heart or kidney condition and should discuss this with their GP.

How much should we drink?

The minimum amount every adult should drink is 1500ml per day. This is around 8-10 glasses or cups.

Resources and further training available:

The following resources can be downloaded and support the training day delivered by staff from North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust in June 2019:

Drinks menu sample

How hydrated is your resident?

Identifying and preventing dehydration

Mocktail recipes

Opportunities for offering drinks

Preventing UTI’s

Protected drinks time – staff allocation sheet

Protected drinks time – structured approach

Resident fluid preferences

Test your hydration knowledge (quiz with answers)

Top 10 hydrating fruits

UTI Infection in Care Home residents

UTI patient information leaflet

Online training covering promotion of hydration and prevention of UTI is also available by clicking here

For further information on this project contact:

Emma Thomas

Public Health Officer, Knowsley Council

Email: emma.thomas@knowsley.gov.uk

Tel:  0151 443 4987

KOPV is a formally constituted body & has a Steering group of 12 elected members responsible for planning & delivering the work of KOPV on behalf of its members