Drinking More Water Given As Reason For Improved Health In Elderly Care Home Residents

Residents and staff at a care home for the elderly in Suffolk, UK are convinced that the improvements in residents' health is because they are now drinking more water after a "water club" was introduced last summer.

The residents at charity-run The Martins care home in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, were encouraged to increase their water intake when the water club was introduced by care home staff last summer. They were encouraged to drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water a day, they were each given a jug of water in their room and water coolers were installed throughout the home.

A year ago, 88-year-old resident Jean Lavender struggled to walk, but now she goes outside most days for a walk, and feels 20 years younger. She told BBC News that:

"I feel more alert - more cheerful too. I'm not a miserable person, but it's added a sort of zest."

The care home is also seeing fewer falls, significant improvements in health, fewer GP call-outs, reductions in the use of laxatives and urinary infections, less agitation among dementia residents, and residents reporting better quality of sleep.

Wendy Tomlinson, a former nurse who became manager of the home last year, suspected that the low intake of drinking water among the residents was not doing their health any good and with staff devised and introduced the water club. But even she was surprised at the difference it has made.

Norman DeLisle, MDRC
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