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1 August 2017

Don’t dry out this summer: Keep hydrated

Keeping track of the amount of water an older person drinks during warm weather has been given a helping hand with an innovative new hydration campaign from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust and South East Water.

The ‘Don’t dry out’ campaign is being rolled out to community hospitals, nursing and care homes across Kent. Specially designed tear-off pads and wipeable reusable posters, which help to keep track of the amount of water a person drinks throughout the day, are being handed to carers and nursing staff, along with coasters and room thermometers.

The resources were developed following workshops with nurses and dietitians who gave their suggestions for the best way to get the message across and make it easy for them to keep a check on the number of drinks someone has had.

Dietetic Assistant Chloe Gallagher said: “Ideally people should have at least eight big drinks every day, which can be water, fruit juice, squash or tea, but many people drink far less.

“The pads and reusable posters are designed to help people to keep track of what they have had to drink throughout the day.”

Sheila Bowdery, South East Water’s Customer Care Manager, said: “We are 100 per cent behind the ‘Don’t dry out’ initiative as drinking the high-quality water we supply to our customers’ taps is one of the healthiest and cheapest ways to keep hydrated.

“We are passionate about water and this excellent campaign, aimed at older people, highlights the benefits of drinking plenty of water-based drinks throughout the summer particularly when temperatures rise.”

Hawkhurst Community Hospital is one of the first to use the new ‘Don’t dry out’ hydration campaign material when it was hand-delivered during a tea party to celebrate the hospital’s recent refurbishment.

To find out more about hydration visit kentcht.nhs.uk or southeastwater.co.uk 

Early signs of dehydration are:

  • thirst
  • rarely needing to visit the toilet
  • darker than normal urine.

Later symptoms include:

  • feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • having a headache
  • feeling tired
  • a dry mouth, lips or eyes.