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Event educates about the importance of hydration in dementia

The University of East Anglia (UEA) are educating clinicians, people with dementia, their carers and members of the public about how to support people with the dementia to avoid dehydration, at an event which takes place next week.

On Monday 26 February, researchers from the Dementia Research Collaborative at UEA will present cutting-edge research studies and findings and there will also be an opportunity for people to find out how to take part in upcoming studies. 

People will also have the chance to ask any questions they have about the condition during a 15 minute question and answer session.

The Dementia Research Collaborative is a group of researchers, educators, clinicians and lay people who are interested in dementia research. The aims of the group are to disseminate dementia research findings across UEA, health services and the public and to foster research collaborations across UEA, health services and the public

People living with dementia can have issues with remembering to drink, recognising the feeling of thirst and linking that sensation with going to find a drink. Speaker Dr Diane Bunn, a lecturer in Nursing Science at UEA will discuss the importance of supporting people with dementia to drink well.

Dr Diane Bunn, said: “For people living with dementia, there is an increased risk of developing dehydration, when we don’t drink enough to replace obligatory fluid losses which occur naturally.

“Dehydration is associated with a number of additional conditions and an increased risk of hospital admission and mortality. If people have difficulties with drinking, then it becomes a supported activity, where particular needs should be identified and appropriate help and care provided.

“Swallowing abilities also change, and so do taste preferences. As drinking is often a social activity, drinking socially is an integral aspect of care, not only for people with dementia, but for their friends, families and carers too.

“As much of our research has been undertaken in care homes, I will describe how our research into hydration care has involved people with dementia living in residential homes, and how we propose to take this work forward.”

The event is part of a series of bi-monthly free dementia events to create an exchange of knowledge between researchers, clinicians, the general public, people with dementia and their carers.  Anyone with an interest in dementia research is welcome.

The open forum takes place from 2-3pm in the NEAT Suite, Room 01.09, Queens Building, UEA. Tea and Coffee will be provided during registration and booking is essential.  Parking is free of charge in the ‘Main Visitors Car Park’ only and parking tokens will be validated at the registration desk at the meeting.  Email: dementia.research@uea.ac.uk to book your place.  The meetings are sponsored by Alzheimer’s Research UK.