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How much water is too much for older people - Carers UK Forum

How much water is too much for older people

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If an older person drinks only one glass of water, two cups of coffee and one tea every day, for several years, can it be a significant factor contributing to vascular dementia? But since dementia is irreversible, would adding a couple more glasses of water every day, really help?
A lot of people with dementia drink less: presumably they don't feel thirsty. But dehydration can add to confusion, so it's important to encourage them to drink enough. But how much is enough?

We've all heard the eight glasses of water rule. But it doesn't actually exist. Food also has some of the fluids we take in, and drinks supplement it. So as long as someone has a healthy appetite, it's not so bad. You're describing an elderly person drinking about a litre a day, plus whatever fluid content is in their food. If they're not particularly active, then it's probably ok. That said, I'm not a doctor, and if you have concerns you should consult a doctor or dietitian. One way to ensure good fluid intake is to eat fruit, or salad. Soups, obviously, are pretty good that way too.

Frankly, though, if they've been drinking at that level for years without any physical signs of problems (loss of skin elasticity, for example - pinch the skin on the back of your hand and if it stays up after you let go, you have a problem), then, again, it's probably not something to worry about too much.
Other ways of introducing fluids is jelly, easy to make and there are sugar free versions which are granular in sachets.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, melon - be careful of sugar content with fruit.

Try to tempt with different drinks like a Bovril every other day if they like it.
All old people loose feeling thirsty even when they need to drink.
Therein lies the danger.
So make sure you have your fill each day....
Hi Juna,

Welcome to the forum.

I care for S and I can tell whether he has had enough to drink his college day service by the colour of his urine. This is a good indication of whether someone is drinking enough.

General guidelines are 2 litres of per day.
1 glass of water and 3 cups of coffee daily is at worst 600mls and at best 1000 mls
Many medications
As you say, dementia isn't reversible , but inadequate hydration can lead to not only worse confusion and sleepiness but also contribute to urinary tract and chest infections.
Many medications rely on normal kidney function to be excreted from the body . In the extremes ( if someone has vomiting, a temperature of is otherwise acutely unwell) dehydration can reduce the efficiency of the kidneys and lead to problems with some medication eg.blood thinners , antibiotics, BP medication etc
I'd also add that caffeine (also found in tea) is a diuretic so isn't as effective at maintaining hydration as water (unless you drink decaff' of course).
On the other hand, I have learned from the information on "Signs of Dying" Google pages, that the body knows how much food and drink it can manage. It can be wrong to insist on more.
Elderly people die, not because they haven't had enough to drink, but because they are old and suffering from organ failure.

(See the Signs of Dying information, don't argue with me! I'm just the messenger in this instance).

From my own point of view, I go by the colour of urine, especially in a hot climate.
Pale lemonade colour is fine, dark brown and smelly isn't!