Dehydration can cause a multitude of health issues, from dry skin and lethargy through to dizziness and confusion, this is particularly true for the elderly population. As we age our body's fluid reserve becomes smaller and our ability to conserve water is reduced. Out thirst sense also becomes less acute. These problems can be compounded by chronic illnesses such as Diabetes and Dementia and using certain medications.
Hydration is a basic human need, and it is high on our list of priorities at Canterbury House. Many older people forget to drink, some who have mobility issues find that their access to drinks is limited. Considering the health implications associated with dehydration this is a problem that we are careful to consider and assess on an individual basis.
At Canterbury House we have care plans in place to address this issue, however we also like to find ways to incorporate good hydration into everyday activities.
On Wednesday the residents and team took part in a fun little blind taste test. We gave each resident a drink to sample, and they attempted to name the fruit. It was quite an interesting afternoon. There was a variety of fruits on offer, from the exotic such as mango, melon and pomegranate, to locally grown fruits such as, strawberries, blueberries and juicy cherries. To really challenge the tastebuds there where a couple of smoothies that had been created by blending a selection of fruits.
The residents really enjoyed the juices and were quite surprised that they found the challenge so difficult. One of the residents said, “well this is a real challenge, they all taste so different when you can’t see them.”
It was great fun and lovely to see everyone talking and sharing their thoughts on what might be in the glass. The juices were delicious, and we all agreed that this was the perfect way to increase our fruit consumption. Many of the team wanted to join in, convinced that they would be able distinguish one fruit from another. It was funny to see the confused looks on their faces when they realised that it wasn’t as easy as they thought.
We will definitely host more blind taste tests in the future. The residents are keen to try a cheese and wine tasting session and the team, well they fancy their chances in a crisp flavour challenge.
But they will have to wait to prove their tastebud prowess, for today the champion is Margaret, ably assisted by her team sharp-tongued tasters. Who will wear the crown next time? Watch this space.