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Monday, December 30, 2013

How to Get a Person Living with Dementia to Drink More?


Okay readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room its time to provide some insight, advice, and suggestions for a fellow caregiver. She needs our help.

By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

In the comments section of the article New Year's Resolution - Be a Guide our reader Karen asks:
How can you guide a dementia patient to hydrate?
This is an on going battle especially since they have frequent UTI's.
Having them drink more fluids is torture.
Any suggestions to guide them?
Saint John the Evangelist
The Patron Saint of Caregivers

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Although the word seems harsh, I actually understand what you mean when you use the word "torture".

I am pretty confident that readers can help you with some ideas and suggestions on this very common problem.

How to get an Alzheimer's patient to drink?

The best solution I found was to use very small glasses. About a 4 ounce glass or smaller. They were easier for my mother to hold, and lighter.

I wouldn't ask my mother to drink. I would just hold out the glass in front of her eyes. Normally she might say, what is this? Or, I am not thirsty. Now the tendency here is to start explaining why it is necessary to drink. If possible I would avoid doing that.

Silence can be your best friend. And, visual cues if you have the proper eye contact can really work well.

This all fits under the label -- guiding.

As far as urinary tract infections (UTI) goes, it is true that better hydration does help flush out the system and can help reduce or get rid of an infection.

However, UTIs often start because of wet diapers, or wet undies. In other words, a breeding ground for E Coli bacteria.

It is very easy for your doctor to detect whether or not your mother is dehydrated. And if she has a UTI.

If you mother is being care for at home, I suggest a monthly doctor's appointment to check for hydration and UTI if these are both a problem.

I would also suggest you use the search box on the right hand side of the page (Knowledge Base) and enter this -- UTI. Take a look at UTI and Body Temperature among the many articles that are available.

Okay readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room its time to provide some insight, advice, and suggestions for a fellow caregiver. She needs our help.

Sound off in the comments section below.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
To learn more about Alzheimer's and dementia visit the Alzheimer's Reading Room