Hydration is very important for the elderly Resident in the long term facility especially in the summer months. A trial study conducted for 90 days on the hydration of the elderly with water on both days and evenings, and for those that do not like to drink water were hydrated with Popsicles, strawberries, water melon, honeydew melon, broths and juices. The facility avoided giving the Residents drinks with caffeine because caffeine is a diuretics. After the three month periods, The evidence showed that, hydration decreased falls, skin tears, and prevents UTI's, and fecal impaction.
Dehydration is the loss of total body water and is the most common fluid and electrolyte disorder among long term care Residents. The factors contributing to dehydration are decrease thirst, impaired cognitive ability, dependency to care giver for help in consuming liquids, diarrhea, swallowing problem, fever, diuretics, the inability to concentrate urine and enteral feeding. How can we tell when a Resident is dehydrated, by observing, a decrease in urine output, concentrated and dark urine, increase in temperature and weight loss. Refer to the table for signs of hydration and dehydration.