The ‘Sick Day Rules’

For some older people dehydration can be a significant risk if they are taking certain medicines. If these medicines are continued while a person is dehydrated, there is an increased risk of severe harm.

Following some simple rules can ensure that residents stay safe.

Importance of drinking

Taking medication and not drinking enough during the day is not good for the body.

People taking medication need to ensure that they are drinking regularly.

Make sure that each person is drinking 6-8 glasses per day using a 250ml mug or glass.

Remember that foods high in water, like fresh fruits, vegetables and some dairy products can be an important part of a person’s fluid intake.

What to do if a resident gets sick

When an older person gets sick and has vomiting and or diarrhoea this can be bad news if they are taking medication.  Make sure you tell a senior member of staff and the person giving out medication

Make sure you follow the ‘sick day rules’. A senior member of staff can help you with this.
Taking medication

Always follow the doctor's instructions as to when and how someone should take medication.

Don’t forget a person may need help as fingers, eyesight and memory may not be as good.  

Have you noticed the person is struggling to swallow their tablets?

Check with the Pharmacist or GP whether the medications come in easy to swallow formats eg dispersible/syrups, or if the tablets can be crushed.  

Consider whether the person may find it easier to swallow their tablets with a mouthful of food rather than fluid.