Cocktails, anyone at Horsell Lodge?

At Horsell Lodge care home in Woking, Surrey making sure we have enough to drink and staying healthy and hydrated is always important for our elderly residents, who for many reasons may not be able to tell when they are getting dehydrated.

It can sometimes be a challenge but it is one which our team have risen to by creating an in-house hydration bar.

Home manager Robyn Bennett explained:

“There were two reasons for developing our hydration bar at Horsell Lodge – we wanted to make sure our residents were all drinking enough and we had a donation of an old piece of furniture which we wanted to put to good use.”

Robyn explained that there has been extensive research into hydration and the ageing process and there are many best practice guidelines introduced to ensure those with increased mental and physical frailty are not put at increased risk of dehydration. Organisations including the NHS, Bupa and the CQC – Care Quality Commission – have recently stressed the importance of drinking enough, particularly among the elderly and highlighted the threat to good health if this does not happen.

Older people are vulnerable to dehydration due to physiological changes leading to a reduced sensation of thirst. This can be more pronounced in those with Alzheimer’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke. Thirst in older people may not be relied on as an indicator of dehydration and many residents need to be encouraged and helped to drink regularly.

Two keyworkers Emma Hall and Ruth Suters are leading the hydration bar project and a range of juices, mock cocktails and milkshakes are offered twice a day.

“We are coming up with lots of different drinks for everyone to try and have purchased bottles, glasses and straws to make the whole thing more fun said Robyn.

“Of course we still offer teas and coffees but the hydration bar is open and these drinks are offered first. The new bar looks fantastic and residents seem to be really enjoying the new choices. We have been monitoring the progress in the last few weeks and have managed to increase the amount drunk by around 700mls extra a day for many of our residents.

“I am really proud of the team as we have worked with the whole issue of hydration not necessarily as a problem but as an opportunity to look at our way of working and to change and improve it for residents’ benefit.”

At Horsell Lodge care home in Woking we provide residential and dementia care for up to 41 elderly residents and we were recently rated as ‘Good’ in all areas in our most recent CQC report.

If you would like to find out more about life at Horsell Lodge, please contact us 0808 223 5513 or



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