How to keep dementia patients hydrated
Dehydration in dementia patients often happens because of their inability to keep track and consume enough fluids daily. It is why cooperation from carers and family members is essential to keep dementia patients hydrated.
Keep track and encourage them to drink more often
It is easier to divide the daily amount of water needed evenly throughout the day instead of forcing dementia patients to consume a large amount of water at once.
The recommended amount is one and a half to two litres per day, which is equivalent to around ten glasses or 12 cups of fluid daily. Take all the chances to encourage dementia patients to drink, for instance, while eating or during the afternoon break.
Water is not the only liquid to keep a person hydrated. Except for alcohol, all other liquids like coffee, tea, milk, and juice can be great alternatives.
Other good sources of fluid are water-rich foods such as yoghurt, jelly, watermelon, cucumber, or soup. Maintaining diversity can also help to improve appetite and keep dementia patients hydrated during hot summer days.
Observe and understand preference
With more severe cases of dementia, the patients might require extra care and attention to help them remain hydrated.
The temperature, smell and flavour of drinks can strongly affect dementia patients. We can start with the dementia patient’s favourite drinks in the past and observe their reaction. It is common for people with dementia to change their taste and might prefer to drink liquid with sweeter or stronger flavours.
Carers and family can based on dementia patient’s preferences to choose the most suitable drinks for them.