Dehydration on front page
It’s not often that hydration makes the front page of a national newspaper. But it did in The Times on 16th January.
‘Scandal of dehydration in care homes’ screamed the headline. It was based on a study of 20,000 patients aged over 65 between 2011 and 2013 led by Oxford University.
It found 1 in 8 patients admitted to hospital from care homes suffered from dehydration, causing confusion, low blood pressure and falls.
Reasons were attributed to many elderly people having blunted thirst mechanisms, taking a long time to drink and needing assistance to do so as well as staff being careless or more concerned about incontinence.
The key conclusion to me was: “Levels of hydration are widely regarded as a proxy for the quality of care.”