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'I've never drunk very much water and I still don't, and I see no reason to do so': a qualitative study of the views of community-dwelling older people and carers on hydration in later life

Bhanu, C; Avgerinou, C; Kharicha, K; Bauernfreund, Y; Croker, H; Liljas, A; Rea, J; ... Walters, K; + view all (2020) 'I've never drunk very much water and I still don't, and I see no reason to do so': a qualitative study of the views of community-dwelling older people and carers on hydration in later life. Age Ageing , 49 (1) pp. 111-118. 10.1093/ageing/afz141. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: dehydration is associated with significant adverse outcomes in older people despite being largely preventable and treatable. Little research has focused on the views of community-dwelling older people on hydration, healthy drinking and the perceived importance of drinking well in later life. OBJECTIVES: to understand community-dwelling older people and informal carers' views on hydration in later life and how older people can be supported to drink well. METHODS: qualitative study using interviews and a focus group exploring hydration and nutrition in later life (24 older people at risk of malnutrition and dehydration, 9 informal carers) and thematic analysis. RESULTS: this article presents the findings on hydration alone. Four themes are presented: perceptions of healthy drinking, barriers to and facilitators of drinking in later life and supporting older people to drink well. The perceived importance of adequate hydration in later life was polarised. Concerns about urinary incontinence and knowledge gaps were significant barriers. Consideration of individual taste preference and functional capacity acted as facilitators. Distinct habitual drinking patterns with medications and meals exist within individuals. Many relied on thirst at other times or when fluid demands are greater (such as hot weather), a known unreliable prompt in later life. CONCLUSIONS: older people could be supported to drink well by building upon existing habitual drinking patterns. Primary care and public health should consider individual barriers, facilitators and tailored education. A multidisciplinary approach to promote hydration should be incorporated into care for older people with more complex needs.

Type: Article
Title: 'I've never drunk very much water and I still don't, and I see no reason to do so': a qualitative study of the views of community-dwelling older people and carers on hydration in later life
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afz141
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afz141
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Keywords: older people, carers, dehydration, hydration, qualitative research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088154
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