Grandma spent a couple weekends at the spa (hospital) after moving in with us. This wasn’t new for her, she had a cycle of going into the emergency room every 2 to 3 months and staying a few days to recover from urinary tract infections and other health conditions. The main cause behind this was because she wasn’t staying hydrated.
It was a huge struggle figuring this out as she always had a cup by her and she would tell you she was drinking when clearly, it wasn’t happening. Handing her a regular bottle of water, a glass of juice or even her favorite soda was met with a look of disgruntlement 🙄 (along with a thank you, as thankfully my grandma has retained her sweetness) – like “you really expect me to drink all that?” I would be happy if even a quarter was absorbed. She’s supposed to drink 2 to 3 bottles of Boost every day. Yeah…good luck with that 🤣. Forcing her to drink is out of the question so we had to get creative on ways to keep her hydrated.
Snacks are an absolute must as well. She has such a hard time maintaining or gaining weight. It’s very easy for her to start losing pounds quickly if her tummy is upset or she isn’t feeling good in general. We learned to mix it up a bit with snacks that are full of liquids – pudding, jello, ice cream treats, fruit cups – basically all the fun lunchbox treats.
That’s the key really, small portions of everything throughout the day has drastically improved grandma’s health. She hasn’t been to the hospital for a spa visit for so long I can’t even recall it (knock on wood).
Everything suitable for kiddos works wonders:
- Small bottled water
- Dixie cups for drinks beyond meal time
- Fruit cup sized snacks packed with juices
- Starting with small portions at meal time
I was excited to find out about Jelly Drops, which inventor Lewis Hornby was inspired to create for his late grandma Pat, who had dementia. Sadly, they aren’t available in the states yet but I’m now on the waiting list and will share as soon as they become available. https://www.jellydrops.com/ – looks like a life changer!
Remember to stay hydrated, grandma’s experiences have taught me that it’s super important!
Finding the comedy in the midst of this maddening disease helps me keep going.
Meal and Hydration Tips for Dementia Caregivers – there’s a lot of other awesome tips as well
Another great read: How to Prevent Dehydration In Our Loved Ones