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Hydration - Carers UK Forum


Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I struggle to get my father to drink enough. I give him drinks he likes but short of nagging I can't get him to drink much. He usually drinks 3or 4 glasses a day instead of the recommended 8. He is frail and elderly (90yrs old). He drinks fruit juice or coffee. He sleeps in a chair most of the day and sleeps in a bed at night.
Maybe I'm being very ignorant, but three or four glasses of water a day doesn't sound too bad! I think there's a large number of people who aren't anywhere near his age who don't drink that much!

As for the fruit juice (again, great that he drinks it at all!), I wonder if you could dilute it by half, so that he gets more water and less (fruit) sugar in it?

I fear it is very common of those of his generation not to drink much water. Firstly they may have grown up at a time when tap water was not particularly safe to drink, or it simply wasn't the custom to drink it. My 93 MIL NEVER drank water 'willingly' - or, indeed, at all! She didn't drink fruit juice either, just tea, wine and G and T!!!! She's remarkably healthy in her body for all that!
Hi Dawn

Don't forget that Dad will be getting some fluids from his food too - soups, custard, milk on cereals, jellies, gravy, veggies and salads especially. The BBC's Radio " Doctor was on the radio the other day and she was saying that ANY fluid is better than none - it doesn't have to be water or juice. So cups of tea and coffee are good too :)
I have read that as we age our sense of thirst gets less.
When young we get thirsty and drink but not so
as we age.
Hence hydration is always a possible
problem unless we make ourselves drink although
not thirsty.
I don't think you should worry about it, Dawn. I had the same problem. My brother was probably not hydrated enough but he claimed he was allergic to water. He did eventually condescend to drink expensive Italian fizzy water. I don't find the recommendations helpful. We had a continence nurse here once who said he was never to have tea any longer unless it was decaffeinated. Her argument was that he might possibly have an irritated bladder. We soon threw the decaffeinated stuff away. Tea was my brother's main source of hydration.
Bear in mind too that as he is most sedentary, he will not be 'sweating' to the extent that mobile people do as we move around all day. The amount of water loss through his skin will therefore be much less, as he has no need to keep cool/even temperature (as body temperature rises with activity). Remember the old feel the cold a lot, (often because they are so sedentary!) so he won't need to perspire to thermoregulate down.
Thank you for the helpful advice. I’m trying to find a non spill cup. My father often goes to sleep holding a drink and spills it. The non spill cups I have bought do spill when my dad drops off to sleep.
Dawn, when my mum was very ill, I googled "Signs of Dying" and found some very good explanations of why people don't drink too much, or eat too much when they are poorly.
I am NOT suggesting for one moment dad is dying, it's just that the articles are written brilliantly, by people who have worked in hospices. I'm sure if you read them it would help you.
I think Suzieq is right - you do get fluids by eating foods as well as by drinking water.
This cup is the only one I've found that really does not spill when knocked over (or fell asleep on top of) but you do have to suck fairly hard to get water out so may not be ideal. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07D5HFRRP