The 11th to the 17th of March is Nutrition and Hydration Week, an annual event promoting the importance of nutrition and hydration in health and social care.

Here is a case study about Peter, a client who needed support with hydration, and how we supported him:

Peter is 75 and lives in a care home. He has Alzheimer’s disease and a history of COPD. He has been assessed as lacking the capacity to make decisions about where he should live and his care and treatment, therefore a POhWER Relevant Person’s Paid Representative (RPPR) was appointed to visit him regularly and support him as required.

A member of staff at Peter’s care home called POhWER, and spoke to Peter’s RPPR, Gill. The member of staff said she was concerned about Peter as he had recently been discharged from hospital with steroids. He seemed to have lost the ability to swallow and they were concerned he may become dehydrated, especially as the weather was very warm. The staff member explained that she had called the GP to request an urgent visit but the GP declined stating that as Peter had no family a DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Resuscitation) and an Advanced Care Plan would be put in place. The staff did not feel this response was appropriate, especially as Peter was walking around and did not appear seriously ill.

Gill suggested staff call 111 immediately and request support for Peter, and recommended they ensure that everything was documented, and consider raising a Safeguarding alert.

Gill called the care home an hour later to check progress and was informed that after contacting 111 a non-emergency ambulance would be sent out to assess Peter.

POhWER raised a Safeguarding alert, and arranged for one of our Independent Mental Capacity Advocates to follow-up the issuing of a DNACPR and Advanced Care Plan.

The non-emergency ambulance attended. Peter was given medication for oral thrush and was prescribed oral saliva gel. After using this medication he was able to take in adequate fluids.

POhWER continue to support Peter and the staff who care for him.