Ground-breaking project tackling dehydration in elderly patients to be rolled out across London

University students have launched an impressive initiative to help tackle the problem of keeping older people hydrated in care home and hospital settings.

The I-Hydrate project was developed by students from the University of West London and has already been picked up by 11 teams in care homes and hospitals in Hertfordshire.

The resources give care givers access to a host of practical resources helping them offer residents a greater choice of drinks, reminders to offer drinks at regular times, and making discussion of fluid intake a key part of handovers between shifts.

Professor Jennie Wilson, Professor of Healthcare Epidemiology at UWL, explained the importance of keeping fluid levels up in patients.

She said:

“When residents and patients don’t drink enough both their physical and mental health is impacted. It can lead to feeling confused and dizzy and have serious health complications such as urinary tract infections. 

“Our team looked at practical ways of helping to make drinking easier. For patients we highlighted the need for light, easy to hold cups and a greater choice of drinks. For care givers we produced resources that help remind teams to offer drinks regularly and keep an eye on a patient’s intake.

“We were delighted that out students were able to offer practical and useable resources and hope to see the I-Hydrate project rolled out across London and beyond. Being involved in the community around us is a key element of studying at UWL.”