How to Help a Loved One Living with Dementia Stay Hydrated at Home

Dementia is a progressive disorder that affects an individual’s cognitive abilities, including their memory, language, and decision-making skills. As the disease progresses, it can be challenging for a loved one to maintain their daily activities, including staying hydrated.


Dehydration is a serious concern for individuals living with dementia, as it can lead to other health complications such as urinary tract infections, kidney problems, and even hospitalization. As part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, here are some handy tips to help your loved one with dementia stay hydrated at home.

Encourage Frequent Sips

Individuals with dementia may forget to drink enough water throughout the day. Encourage them to take frequent sips of water or other fluids. You can keep a water bottle or a glass of water within their reach so that they can easily access it. Alternatively, you can set reminders on their phone or write notes to remind them to drink water.

Offer a Variety of Fluids

Offering a variety of fluids can help your loved one stay hydrated and prevent boredom with drinking the same beverage repeatedly. You can offer water, fruit juice, herbal tea, or coconut water. Avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated beverages, and alcohol, as they can dehydrate the body.

Serve Cold Beverages

Serving cold beverages can be more refreshing and appealing to your loved one than room temperature drinks. Cold water with ice cubes, smoothies, or chilled herbal tea can be a great way to hydrate your loved one, especially during hot weather.

Make it Fun

Making hydration a fun activity can encourage your loved one to drink more fluids. You can add flavor to the water with lemon or cucumber slices, freeze fruits in ice cubes, or make homemade ice pops with fruit juice. You can also involve your loved one in the process of making their drink, which can help them feel more engaged and independent.

Offer Hydrating Foods

Some foods, such as watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, and lettuce, have high water content and can help your loved one stay hydrated. You can incorporate these foods into their meals or snacks to boost their hydration levels. Soups, smoothies, and broths can also be hydrating and nourishing options for your loved one.

Ensure Adequate Fluid Intake During Meals

Offering fluids during meals can help your loved one stay hydrated and prevent constipation, a common problem in individuals with dementia. You can offer water, soup, or fruit juice during meals or encourage your loved one to drink a glass of water before and after meals.

Monitor Hydration Levels

It is essential to monitor your loved one’s hydration levels, especially if they have difficulty communicating their needs or symptoms. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, dark urine, fatigue, confusion, and dizziness. If you notice any of these symptoms, encourage your loved one to drink more fluids and seek medical attention if necessary.

In conclusion, staying hydrated is crucial for individuals living with dementia. Encouraging frequent sips, offering a variety of fluids, serving cold beverages, making hydration fun, offering hydrating foods, ensuring adequate fluid intake during meals, and monitoring hydration levels are simple yet effective ways to help your loved one stay hydrated at home. By implementing these strategies, you can promote your loved one’s overall health and well-being and prevent the complications associated with dehydration.


To learn more about the importance of nutrition and hyrdration in older people please contact your local Boutique Care Home for more information.