Using Improvement Science to Optimise Hydration in the Elderly and Prevent UTI

Jennie Wilson1

1University of West London, Paragon House, Boston Manor Road, Brentford. Middlesex. TW8 9GA

Age-related physiological changes including loss of thirst, reduced water reserves and diminished kidney function increase the risk of dehydration in older people. There is evidence of an association between dehydration and urinary tract infection, and seasonal trends in Gram negative bloodstream infections. Maintaining hydration is a problem for residents in long term care settings and this presentation explores some of the barriers and facilitators to supporting fluid consumption. It describes the application of improvement science methodology to optimise fluid intake in the frail elderly in this setting. Our work has found that effective change is dependent on co-design of interventions, modifying care delivery patterns by integrating fluid delivery into routine care and ensuring consistent, supportive leadership.

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