There are many benefits to ensuring your residents are properly hydrated. Three of the most important benefits of having proper Hydration Care include strengthening the immune system, preventing disease and lowers the risk of infections. Good nutrition and hydration are linked to both physical and mental health. A stronger resident is a more independent resident, able to enjoy a higher quality of life. A healthier, less dependent resident population eases workload for the whole staff and lowers the cost of care.
7 Things You Can Do to Make A Difference in the Care of Your Residents
- Make sure there is always a water pitcher within a resident’s reach, along with cups/glasses and straws.
- Keep a resident’s water pitcher filled, but not so heavy that it can’t be easily lifted and poured.
- Each time you pass a water fountain when walking with a resident, encourage him or her to have a drink.
- If a resident doesn’t like water, offer decaffeinated tea or other liquids.
- Encourage residents to eat foods high in water content-such as soups, pudding, and ice cream.
- Many residents will suck on ice chips even if they have little interest in eating or drinking. Make sure a resident is allowed to have ice chips (because this will be dangerous for a person who has trouble swallowing) and then offer them frequently.
- When residents request caffeinated drinks like soda and coffee, encourage them to have milk, decaffeinated tea, or juice instead. Remember, caffeinated drinks do not count as much toward fluid intake!
Fun Activities with Residents
- Start a “Beverage Brigade” by delivering drinks room to room, gave manicures and hand massages, and played bingo and other games.
- “Happy Hour” Residents are allowed real liquor if they have a doctor’s order and it doesn’t interfere with current meds. If not (and most don’t), they order a“Virgin Margarita” or other non-alcoholic beverage from the bartender (Administrator). They have chips, dip and finger foods. Sometimes entertainment is provided. Families are invited to join in the fun!
- “Beverage Carts” – Offer a variety of beverages to meet resident preferences. HINT: add a bit of lemon or other flavor to water to make more palatable.
- “Smoothie Tastings” - Activity Directors host “smoothie tasting” and share the smoothies & shakes.