Blog

Elderly hands holding drink

How Do You Ensure Elderly Care Home Residents Are Well Hydrated?

When it comes to maintaining the perfect level of hydration, it varies from person to person.

For example, someone who is more active will naturally require more fluids to replace fluid lost during activity. Likewise, a person who is less active may require less fluids.

For older adults, there are certain things to be aware of that may impact their fluid levels:

• If they’re taking medication that is a diuretic, they will need to drink more to replace the fluids that they lose as a result of regular trips to the toilet. Alternatively, if they are taking multiple medications, this will affect their water and sodium balance, which could ultimately lead to dehydration.

• As their sensation of thirst is decreased, which is a natural part of ageing, they may be less inclined to drink as they don’t feel thirsty. This may then lead to dehydration.

• If their mobility is impacted, they …

Elderly man drinking tea

The Importance of Avoiding Dehydration in the Elderly

Avoiding dehydration in the elderly is incredibly important.

Ultimately, good hydration is vital when it comes to staying healthy, as the body requires fluids to function normally.

So, as the elderly are already more susceptible to certain conditions and a decline in the natural effectiveness of their bodily functions due to their age, dehydration needs to be avoided to reduce the risk of more serious complications.

Dehydration can cause long-term effects if it is not managed correctly, leading to:

• Cardiovascular issues. Due to lower fluids levels in the body, caused by dehydration, the blood becomes thicker and more concentrated. This makes it more difficult for the blood to move easily through the cardiovascular system, leading to a rapid heart rate as the heart tries to maintain a normal blood pressure.

• Kidney issues. Hydration levels have a direct impact on the healthy functioning of the kidneys. When fluid levels start to drop, the …

Resident at Redholme memory Care sittign at a table with a member of nursing staff smiling and with AQi smart cups on the table in front of them

6 Practical Ways to Encourage Care Home Residents to Drink

Dehydration is all too common in care home residents, simply due to them being at more risk of becoming dehydrated because of their age.

This also means they are also more at risk of the complications that can arise from dehydration, such as hydration-related illnesses.

So, why may residents become dehydrated?

A couple of reasons include:

• As mentioned above, age is a factor. As we get older, our natural feeling of thirst declines and, if we don’t feel thirsty, we don’t feel inclined to drink.

• If residents suffer from incontinence, they may limit the amount the drink to avoid any embarrassment.

• If residents struggle with eating and drinking, they may only be able to drink when aided. So, when care staff are busy, it may mean that they are unable to drink as often as they would like to.

Understanding why someone is becoming dehydrated is vital when coming up with ways to …

Top Reasons Why Care Home Residents May Not Be Drinking Enough and What You Can do About it

When residents in your care aren’t drinking enough, it can be incredibly stressful for you as you know the impact that poor hydration can have on them.

As you have their best interests at heart, it’s understandably frustrating.

So, it’s important to understand the reasons why they may not be drinking enough, so that you can identify ways to encourage good hydration habits.

Here are some of the most common reasons:

• If they suffer with incontinence, they may reduce the amount they drink or avoid it altogether to avoid any embarrassment. This is especially true of an evening, in case of any accidents occurring in the night.

• The feeling of thirst naturally declines as we age, so it could simply be that they don’t feel thirsty and therefore don’t think they need to have a drink.

• They’re unable to make themselves a drink or drink by themselves. Some residents may have limited …

Care home resident sat at a table with a board game and an Aquarate smart cup.

The Effects of Dehydration in Care Homes and Why it’s so Common…

As someone who looks after care home residents, you will most likely tackle dehydration on a daily basis.

Understandably, this will be a stressful experience not just for your residents but for you too, as their health and wellbeing are your number one concerns.

So, why is dehydration so common in care homes?

As you will already know, older people are simply more at risk due to age-related changes in their body, whether that’s physical, psychological, cognitive or physiological.

This means that care homes like yours will be home to residents that are naturally more at risk of becoming dehydrated, which is why cases are so high.

What are the effects of dehydration on the body?

• Kidney problems. If residents aren’t adequately hydrated, they aren’t able to urinate as often (or even at all) and so their body is unable to remove toxins. This can lead to problems such as UTIs and kidney stones, …

The 10 Most Common Signs of Dehydration to Look for in Care Home Residents

As a carer, regardless of whether you are a care home owner or a care assistant, your number one concern for those in your care will be their good health and wellbeing.

This means dehydration will more than likely be a serious worry for you, so would you know the signs of dehydration if you came across them?

The truth is that they can sometimes be hard to spot, for example if they’re common side effects of medication they’re taking, which makes it all the more stressful for you.

So, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common signs that you can look out for:

1. Fatigue

2. Dry mouth and lips

3. Decrease in urination/urine with a dark colour

4. Sunken eyes

Resident at Elderholme sitting at a table holding the Aquarate smart cup in both hands with another resident in the background

How to Identify the Most Common Risk Factors for Dehydration in Care Home Residents

Dehydration can have detrimental effects on the health of older people, so ensuring your care home residents are well hydrated can help to reduce the likelihood or developing hydration-related illnesses with long-term effects.

If you know the signs and symptoms to look out for as a precaution, the next step is understanding the risk factors for dehydration, to allow you to be able to identify ways to mitigate those risks.

Physical, psychological, cognitive and physiological changes occur naturally in the body as part of the ageing process and are a key cause of many risk factors.

These include:

• Incontinence. With older people more likely to experience incontinence, they may purposefully reduce their fluid intake to stop this happening and avoid embarrassment.

• Inability to eat/drink by themselves. If a resident needs assistance with eating and drinking, they may be limited to set times when this assistance is available. This may mean there are …

9 Tips to Keep Hydrated in Winter

In the warmer summer months it is often easier to remember to stay hydrated as we sweat and tend to feel thirsty more frequently in the heat. But do we consider our hydration as much during the cooler winter months?

Although we might not think it, staying hydrated in winter can be just as challenging as staying hydrated in summer. This can be because dehydration is much less noticeable in colder months. For example, we can become easily dehydrated from breathing, sweating as our hearts work harder to keep us warm, and from the drying effects of the wind. 

Why is Hydration Important?

The human body is around 60% water. This water is vital for supporting metabolic reactions, body temperature regulation, and is the main component in blood (Hydration For Health, 2019).

Signs and symptoms of dehydration include – but are not limited to – dark coloured urine, reduced frequency of urination, feeling …

Let’s Talk About Mouth Care Matters

I’m sure many of us have woken up in the morning at some point in our lives with breath so bad, that we’ve actually lept out of bed like an Olympic gymnast to grab that minty fresh toothpaste before anyone can notice.  

But what would happen if you were an elderly patient or resident who lacked the independence and mobility you once had and struggled to brush your teeth without help? Would you still want to talk to people or eat and drink if your teeth had not been brushed?

In the past, hydration, nutrition and oral health have been viewed in isolation. However, research indicates they are interlinked, greatly influencing one another and having a significant effect on general health and well-being (Humphreys & Vadher et al., 2017). 

Afterall, the mouth is the gateway to the rest of our body!

The Problem

Hospitalisation can lead to a deterioration in oral health of patients, …

Aquarate smart cups charging on a charging mat in the background, while a close up of an Aquarate smart cup stands on the table in the foreground

Introducing Our Care Homes

If you follow us on social media, you may have already heard we’ve started our product evaluations!

“What are your product evaluations?” I hear you ask. 

Well, in a nutshell our product evaluations give us a chance to get our Aquarate Fluid Intake System – affectionately called AQi in our offices – out of our robust testing labs and into the real world!

Over the next few months we will be carrying out evaluations in 2 Care Homes right here in the North West.

In this blog we wanted to take a moment to introduce the Care Homes we will be working with, but before we do, we need to answer – how did it begin?

In 2018, Aquarate won first prize in the Smart Health category in the Liverpool Mayor’s challenge. Following this, we were introduced to – drum roll please – Elderholme Nursing Home and Redholme Memory Care! 

Something we hear time and …

Bottles of alcohol behind a bar helping to illustrate the kind of drinking that leads to dehydration

How do Alcohol and Caffeine Affect my Hydration?

October is a busy month. Halloween is right around the corner and before it’s even out of the way, shops are already stocking up with mince pies.

Of course, in more recent years, October has also been associated with Breast Cancer Awareness month, ADHD Awareness month and National Cholesterol month, although the list doesn’t stop there.

Unless you’ve been a bit out of touch with social media recently, likely chances are you’ve heard about ‘Go Sober for October’. But just in case you haven’t, the campaign was started by Macmillan Cancer Support to help raise money for people living with cancer and encourages people to give up alcohol for all of the 31 days in October.

So with a countless number of people giving up alcohol this month for a fantastic cause, we at Aquarate HQ, wanted to know more about how drinking alcohol might affect hydration.  After all, we’ve probably …

World War’s Medical and Health Care Legacy

As we pause on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, we remember with gratitude the great sacrifice made by a generation to secure our freedom. We also remember that through the horror of war came vital medical breakthroughs and health care advances that we are still benefiting from today. Here are a few…

Orthopaedics

The Thomas Splint, still used on the battlefield today, was invented by Welshman, Hugh Owen Thomas. But it was his nephew, Robert Jones, General Inspector for Orthopaedics in the military, who ensured the invention was used to great advantage during WWI.

Robert observed the needless deaths arising from injuries of the femur, caused by blood loss and severe shock from the broken ends of the bone moving and grating together. At the beginning of the conflict, 80% of soldiers with such injuries died. Two years later, and with the introduction of …

Aquarate’s Five Top Tech Innovations

Working in a creative industry, we like to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s new in innovative technology from around the world. We asked each member of the Aquarate team what has caught their attention recently …

Rebecca, Founder

I love these Companion Robots, Jerry the Bear and My Special Aflac Duck, by Sproutel.  Cuddly comforting companions for children diagnosed with Cancer and Diabetes Type 1. They come to life with movement and emotions, along with interactive apps to help the child come to terms with their illness.

Dan, Product Design Engineer

Voltera are producing a new way of printing onto electronic PCB boards. They won the Dyson awards in 2015 in Canada for speeding up PCB prototyping for electronic products.

Tom, our Hardware Engineer, is currently teaching himself how to use this to best advantage for Aquarate’s products.

Euan, Software Developer

IGlass AR as they are making a lot of progress …

Liverpool Royal Nurses Talk Fluid Balance

We caught up with Liverpool Royal’s Acute Kidney Injury nurses, Katie Rimmer Algate, Natalie Erickson, Jenni Soddern and Marie McCarthy, and asked them about the importance of accurate fluid balance management …

Tell us about the current fluid balance system

Currently we use paper charts for fluid balance monitoring.  This means that staff have to ask the patients what they have had to drink, and relies on the patient remembering what they have had to drink.

For those unable to report to staff what they have consumed, the system relies on staff being around when drinks are collected, which is not always possible. Intravenous fluid recording can vary and output monitoring can prove difficult, particularly if the patient is mobile. These, amongst other issues leads to discrepancies in the accuracy of fluid balance charts.

How important is it for the patient’s welfare to get accurate data?

Fluid balance plays a very important …

Meet Aquarate’s Med-Tech Team

Meet the team that has  successfully navigated Aquarate through its first year of business in Med-Tech innovation. They tell us about their Aquarate Eureka moment and what they do when not working on the project. With positive feedback from NHS patients, clinicians and healthcare workers, and trials organised for February 2019 in Care Homes, the future is bright for Team Aquarate.

Rebecca Taylor, Founder & CEO

Rebecca studied Design Engineering at John Moores University in Liverpool. For her final year project she challenged herself to find a health care problem that required a design solution. Research took her to various hospitals in the North West where she observed nurses and health care professionals who were using manual fluid balance charts to record data for patients with a range of acute illnesses. There were many legitimate reasons that this data was often badly recorded and inaccurate. The whole concept of …

Everton Ladies Nutrition for Peak Performance

Meet Sam McHaffie, Performance Nutritionist working with Everton Ladies FC. He tells us a little about himself, his passion for sport, health and fitness and how the correct food and hydration are essential to maintain peak performance in top level sport.

Sporting Vocation

I grew up enjoying sport and knew that I wanted to work in elite sport in some capacity.

During my Sports Science degree I was inspired by two of my lecturers who work as nutritionists. This led me to a Masters in Sports Nutrition which gave me the important professional accreditation (SENr) to start working

As part of my Masters, I spent an evening a week with the Everton Ladies FC team . The following season the team went professional and this led to a job offer as their nutritionist.

Everton Ladies FC

Everton Ladies FC are in the top flight of women’s football, playing each team in the …

Aquarate, the NHS and the Dawn of a Digital Age

The Aquarate team has been in hospital recently. Nothing life threatening. In fact, we are confident that the trials of our AQI fluid balance products  will lead to a life enhancing system for some NHS patients. Working alongside the stalwarts on the front line of health care, it caused us look back to where the NHS began, and to consider how this beloved national institution will harness the technological age that is already upon us.

The Birth of an Ideal

in a photo the velcro is represented

Nineteen forty-eight was a good year. That was the year the very first supermarket opened its doors, polo mints were the ‘hole new sweet’, Velcro zipped onto the market and ladies tights were the latest convenient fashion item. We had to wait until 1955 for fish fingers and it was a full twenty five years later that a privileged few would hold the first cell ‘phones. …