Elderly people reminded to stay hydrated in hot weather, says Virgin Care nurse

As people across East Staffordshire continue to bask in high temperatures, the importance of staying hydrated – particularly for older people – cannot be underestimated.

Dehydration can cause people to be more sleepy, unsteady on their feet and more likely to suffer from falls and urine infections. Some people may even end up requiring medical treatment or a hospital admission from not drinking enough fluid throughout the day – but the symptoms of dehydration are often hard to recognise.

Virgin Care’s Continence Service – one of a number of services it runs and oversees as part of East Staffordshire’s Improving Lives Programme – is currently working with all 76 care homes, nursing homes and learning disability homes across East Staffordshire to help ensure that some of the people most susceptible to the effects of dehydration are kept well.

It is part of the ‘8 to hydrate’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of the early symptoms and signs of dehydration, providing people with simple information on how to prevent it.

This includes materials designed to encourage people to stay hydrated, including a drinks tracker people could take away and use to know they’re hydrated enough.

Cheryl Smith, Lead Nurse for Community Nursing for Virgin Care in East Staffordshire, said: “We all need to ensure that we stay hydrated in the current weather, but it’s particularly important for our older population.

“Older people may lose their sense of thirst, so might need encouragement to drink more often. The 8 to Hydrate campaign aims to do just that by reminding people that they should drink at least 8 drinks a day unless otherwise advised by a doctor.”

East Staffordshire’s Improving Lives Programme focuses on helping people to be healthier for longer and helps those people with long-term health conditions to take more control over their own care. For more information about East Staffordshire Improving Lives, visit: www.eaststaffsimprovinglives.nhs.uk

More news & media...