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 facility is potentially at risk for dehydration. 

Risk factors for dehydration include:

  • Functional impairment and immobility
  • Chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease
  • Acute illnesses, diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Medications, such as laxatives or diuretics
  • Cognitive impairment

Definitions

Dehydration
Dehydration is condition that occurs when there is excessive fluid loss from the body, either due to an illness, exposure to high temperatures, exertion with inadequate fluid intake or use of diuretic medications.[4] Dehydration may be described as low-intake dehydration vs salt-loss dehydration or by the more traditional terms such as hyponatremic, hypernatremic and isotonic.
Water balance
Water balance is a state of equilibrium in which the fluid intake from water and other beverages and foods equals fluid losses in the gastrointestinal tract, urine, sweat and other secretions.
Electrolyte balance
Electrolyte balance is the critical balance between the concentration in the cells and that in the tissue fluid surrounding the cells of the various inorganic ions. The primary electrolytes in the cells are potassium, magnesium, sulphate and phosphate. Those in the surrounding fluid are mainly sodium, chloride and bicarbonate. This balance is essential to life and is maintained by the active pumping action of the cell membranes.
Hydration management
Hydration management is the promotion of adequate fluid balance which prevents complications resulting from abnormal or undesired fluid levels.

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