Support individuals to have access to fluids in accordance with their plan of care

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

Each individual that you care for will have their own personal care plan and within it will be a section about the individual’s hydration requirements. It is important that you provide access to fluids in accordance with each individual’s documented needs because a lack of fluid can result in dehydration which can have a severe impact on an their health.

For individuals that have restricted movement or mobility it may be necessary to ensure that regularly refreshed drinks are within easy reach. This means placing drinks in a place where they easily and comfortably pick them up and set them down. For some individuals, you may also have to support them to drink and record their intake and output on fluid charts.

Unless there are medical reasons to restrict fluid intake, you should ensure that an individual’s access to drinks is maintained at all times.

Some individuals may need reminding or encouraged to drink. For example, individuals with dementia may forget to drink or believe they have recently had one. An individual that suffers from anxiety may not drink because they are too worried. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do your your best to encourage regular fluid intake to promote the individual’s health.

An important way of promoting hydration is to make sure that an individual has access to the types of drinks that they like. Although water is the best source of fluid, there are many individuals that do not like to drink water and so alternatives such as squash, tea and coffee should be made available. The individual’s preferences should be documented in their care plan.

It is essential to remember that each individual has their own unique needs and you should also promote independence where possible and not restrict an individual from performing tasks, such as making themselves a drink. Wherever it is safe to do so individuals should be encouraged to do as much as possible for themselves.

If you have any concerns about an individual’s fluid intake, for example if they do not appear to be drinking very much or are displaying signs or symptoms of dehydration, you should report it to the relevant person. In most cases, this will be your manager but could also include the individual’s carer or their family.