A recent study published in the Age and Ageing journal/British Geriatrics Society identified that dehydration is associated with significant adverse outcomes in older people despite being largely preventable and treatable.Dehydration is associated with significant adverse outcomes in older people despite being largely preventable and treatable Click To Tweet
The study identified four themes that are discussed in the full article; however, it should cause us to take a moment to think about our seniors. How often do you notice that resident trays still have glasses of liquids on them when the trays are returned to the kitchen? How many of us are truly documenting fluid intake at meals? Seriously, it might be cold outside however our bodies are fine-tuned machines that need lubricants such as water to keep them running optimally.
Maybe it is time to not “encourage fluids” but rather discourage sending trays back without making an effort to be sure the resident has had enough fluids. It might be a process of identifying which fluids residents tend to prefer versus the same old same old on the trays! What about jello, watermelon, popsicles, etc. These are still considered fluids!
Help prevent one resident from becoming dehydrated and you are on the way to a true QAPI program! Also, remember, if a resident fears being incontinent that may be a reason they quit drinking liquids! Be sure residents are being toileted frequently and not left waiting!