Older people can easily become dehydrated (lacking enough fluid). This can cause problems including constipation, weakness and dizziness. Make sure that you have enough to drink. Include plenty of drinks that are not tea, coffee or alcohol, as these drinks all tend to increase dehydration.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. As you get older, you don’t feel thirst as much and you can be dehydrated before you are thirsty.

Advice for carers

Encourage the older person to take favourite drinks that are not tea, coffee or alcohol (which can all worsen dehydration). If the older person is very unwell and refusing drinks, or is finding it difficult to drink, it is important to seek advice from the doctor or nurse. Dehydration can occur quickly so don’t delay reporting this problem for long. When the older person is very unwell, you may be asked to try ice chips instead of drinks.