We always have difficulty getting extra fluids into our residents during these hot summer and fall months, any suggestions?

Getting fluids into elderly residents is  something my facility struggled with every summer and fall. We started by asking activities to serve small cups of juice or water. Some of the activities staff have wonderful relationships with the residents and it is easy in some instances for them to encourage residents to drink fluids while having fun.

We also had them make some homemade lemonade, sweet tea, sun tea and things the residents could be involved with making, as it seemed like they really liked drinking and eating what they helped make. Activities even started making cold soups because the fluid in the soup helped our goal of additional fluids. 

They also used the fresh lemonade, tea or juice and filled ice cube trays with the juice, so those residents who also like to suck on ice cubes could get some extra fluids. The juicy cubes did not water down their drinks, which was another bonus.

Later this year, a new product should be hitting the market. Called “Jelly Drops,” it was designed by a young man who was trying to find ways to get his grandmother (who has dementia) to drink more fluids. He came up with Jelly Drops, a product that looks like a treat, comes in an easy-open box, is easy to grab and eat, and helps keep dementia patients healthy. It is not available yet, but you can find out about it online. It’s akin to getting someone to eat a juice-filled gummy bear.

Small frequent drinks, or small juice boxes, also tend to work well. Remember, it’s everyone’s job to assist with the residents — it’s not just a “nursing problem.”

It does take a “(well-oiled) village” to succeed!