Healthy Hydration

The goal of healthy hydration is ensuring that a person’s intake is adequate to meet their needs. This is done through identifying risk factors, assessing those risk factors, developing care plans with measurable goals, and providing interventions to prevent dehydration. Any person residing in a nursing home is potentially at risk for dehydration. The vast majority of persons develop dehydration because of disease processes, rather than from neglect.

This webpage provides information and resources for definitions, identification of risk factors, signs and symptoms of dehydration, evidence-based best practice for implementing hydration management, and a variety of tools, worksheets and forms for everyday use.

Definitions

Dehydration
Dehydration refers to a complex condition resulting in a loss of total body water, with or without salt, at a rate greater than the body can replace it. Dehydration is one form of a fluid and electrolyte imbalance.
Fluid and electrolyte imbalance
A fluid and electrolyte imbalance is an insufficiency or excess of either water or electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, in certain body areas.
Hydration management
Hydration management is the promotion of adequate fluid balance that prevents complications resulting from abnormal or undesired fluid levels.
Osmolality
Osmolality is a measure of the osmoles of solute per kilogram of solvent.
Osmolarity
Osmolarity is a measure of solute concentration, defined as the number of osmoles of solute per liter of solution.

Resources Created by DADS

Resources from Other Organizations

Bibliography

  • DHN Resources 2014 (PDF) Literature review and references for best practices for hydration
  • American Medical Directors Association. Dehydration and Fluid Maintenance Clinical Practice Guideline. Columbia, MD: AMDA 2009

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Position Paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Individualized Nutrition Approaches for Older Adults in Health Care Communities. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2010; 110 (10): 1554-1563.

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Ethical and Legal Issues in Feeding and Hydration. Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. June 2013 Volume 113 Number 6: 828-833.

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Position Paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Oral Health and Nutrition, Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2013; 5: 693-701