How do you get someone with dementia to drink?
Someone with dementia may become dehydrated if they’re unable to recognise the fact they are thirsty. It is easy for them to forget to drink and it may be difficult to communicate if they are thirsty. So how do you get someone with dementia to drink? Especially as dehydration can cause headaches, increased confusion, urinary tract infections and constipation. All of which can worsen the symptoms of dementia.
Generally, as people age their sensation of thirst changes. This can mean they don’t feel thirsty despite the fact they’re not drinking enough. Someone with dementia may experience similar changes. They may be less able or likely to get themselves a drink.
Simply leaving a drink in front of someone doesn’t always mean they will drink it. Also, an empty cup doesn’t always mean that the person has finished the drink. It may have been drunk by someone else, spilt drunk or tipped away.
Helping someone with dementia drink enough
- Ensure there is always a drink available when the person is eating something.
- Use a clear glass or brightly coloured cup to help them realise a drink is there.
- Actually give the drink to the person, if left they may not understand it is for them.
- Offer a variety of drinks. Many elderly people do not enjoy plain water.
- Many foods contain high water content, including jelly, mushrooms, melon, cucumber, grapes and tomatoes.
- Nutritionists have created sweets called Jelly Drops®, which may help people with dementia consume more water. ( I personally helped crowdfund for Jelly Drops and helped them on their way to successful production)
Droplet Drinking System.
I have only just discovered this innovative drinking system that prompts someone to drink with personally recorded voice messages. The video tells you all you need to know and use this link to purchase one from Amazon, be quick as they are in short supply with only 5 left when I last checked!
It has been incredibly well thought through and designed and is ideal for anyone living alone, in a care home or in hospital. The whole system combines a mug and pale blue drinking beaker designed to make the water look lovely and cool. A huge amount of thought has gone into the design and functionality of Droplet.
In trials, it has been shown to increase fluid intake by up to 60%
Using the Droplet system may help to reduce the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), falls and even sepsis.