Hydration essentialsBack to Nursing Essentials Crib Cards
Many people do not drink enough and this is particularly true of older people, those who are sick and people in mental health crisis.
Ask yourself: can the person reach for, lift and hold a drink? If the answer to this is no, then they need your help to stay hydrated.
Signs of dehydration are:
- feeling dizzy/lightheaded
- dry, sticky mouth
- passing small amounts of dark, concentrated urine.
If not identified early dehydration can lead to:
- delayed healing
The suggested amount of fluid is 2.5 litres unless there are clinical contraindications:
- encourage people to drink small amounts of water throughout the day
- ensure that clean, fresh water is accessible
- encourage additional intake at meal times and when taking medication
- encourage visitors to assist the person to drink
- monitor regularly for signs of dehydration.
If someone is unable to swallow safely then assisted hydration should be administered to prevent dehydration and distress.