Long-Term Care

Prevent dehydration with nursing interventions

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, April 9, 2009

Dehydration is the loss of at least 1% of body weight as a result of fluid loss. Dehydration is a much greater problem than malnutrition in long-term care, and its symptoms are often atypical and easily mistaken for other illnesses of delirium.

Add the following appropriate nursing interventions to the plan of care pending more specific dietitian recommendations:

  • Provide extra fluid with meals, including juice, soup, ice cream and sherbet, gelatin, water on trays.
  • Serve beverages at activities.
  • All staff should encourage at least 60 ml of fluid of the resident’s choice upon entering each resident’s room.
  • Encourage the resident to consume at least 180 ml with medications. Residents who limit water intake may accept sugar-free juices during medication pass.
  • Offer Popsicles between meals.
  • Pass juice or fluid cart at least twice a day.
  • Record accurate I & O. Cumulate each shift. Evaluate daily compared with resident’s minimum fluid requirements.

This is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The Long-Term Care Legal Desk Reference.

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