Some individuals may need further support to stay hydrated. For example:

  • Choose a cup suitable for the resident –they may prefer to use a straw.
  • Support and encouragement to maintain fluid intake throughout the day.
  • It could be as simple as set drink routines rather than relying on thirst alone.
  • Jelly and other food rich in fluid can be offered to increase fluid intake if the resident doesn’t want to drink.
  • Encourage fluids when giving care at night.

Spotting dehydration

This urine colour chart will give you an idea of whether a resident is drinking enough. Good means they are drinking enough and dehydrated means the body has lost water and they may need to drink more more to make up the for the loss.

This chart could be useful although not always a reliable tool in older people because certain conditions and medication may affect urine colour.

Signs of Dehydration

  • Thirst
  • Dark Urine
  • Irritability
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Confusion
  • Cool hands or feet
  • Low blood pressure
  • Raised heart rate
  • Headaches

If a person has AKI they may pass less urine than usual, or pass no urine at all

The I-Hydrate Project 

The I-Hydrate project aims to improve hydration in older people in care homes. They have created some useful resources for care home providers which can be downloaded for free.

Click here to view the I-Hydrate resources


-The reason for 1–3% of all GP consultations
-About 1 in 3 women will have at least one UTI by 24 years of age
– About 1 in 2 women will be treated for a symptomatic UTI during their lifetime
– The annual incidence of UTI in women increases with age
– Escherichia coli account for about 80% of UTIs

No dipstick for UTI?

  • A positive dipstick is more likely to lead to treatment WHICH MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE
  • Antibiotics are powerful drugs
  • Antibiotics are precious drugs
  • Giving an older person antibiotic when they don’t really need them can lead to:
  • Side-effects such as rashes & stomach upsets
  • Diarrhoea which can be life-threatening
  • Antibiotic resistance to antibiotics won’t work when the person really does need them
  • 1 in 3 older people will suffer side-effects from antibiotics if given them when they don’t need them.


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