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A decline in both physical and mental capacity is an inevitable part of the aging process and this has implications for Quality of Life (QoL) in the elderly.

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IS HYDRATION ASSOCIATED

WITH QUALITY OF LIFE?

a review by Ronald J. Maughan - Chairman of the Science Advisory

Board

A decline in both physical and mental capacity is an inevitable part of the

aging process and this has implications for Quality of Life (QoL) in the

elderly. Those in residential care, either for medical reasons or because

of the absence of family carers, may be especially vulnerable. This study

assessed the relationship between clinical care indicators (CCI) and QoL

in 82 residents of four Australian residential care facilities. Standard

analytical tools were used for CCI, covering 23 different areas of care,

and QoL, which was assessed as a profile of six domains (physical,

psychological, independence, social relationships, environmental, and

spiritual).

The study found, perhaps not surprisingly, that poorer scores in the

clinical care indicators adversely influenced QoL. All QoL domains

were affected to some degree, with the greatest impact on the social

and spiritual domains. Poorer status in hydration, falls and depression

were the three factors most strongly associated with lower QoL scores,

suggesting those three indicators could represent key areas for clinical

management in residential aged care.

It is important to recognise that this study does not show that improving

the quality of care in these three areas will necessarily improve the

quality of life of the elderly living in care. However, improving hydration

status does seem to be a low cost intervention that deserves further

investigation.

Courtney M, M O’Reilly, H Edwards, S Hassall (2009). The relationship

between clinical outcomes and quality of life for residents of aged care

facilities. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing 26, 49-57

It is important to

recognise that this study

does not show that

improving the quality

of care in these three

areas will necessarily

improve the quality

of life of the elderly

living in care. However,

improving hydration

status does seem to be

a low cost intervention

that deserves further

investigation.


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WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN HYDRATION

INSTITUTE?

The European Hydration Institute (EHI) is a foundation established with the

objectives of advancing and sharing knowledge and understanding of all

matters relating to human hydration and the effects of hydration on health,

wellness and performance.

The European Hydration Institute (EHI) was founded in response to the need

expressed by a number of scientists, nutritionists and health care professionals,

for a one stop shop relating to hydration where: All hydration science and

knowledge could come together; strategies for further advancing understanding

in the area of hydration could be developed and support for efforts designed to

ensure people across Europe are properly hydrated could be provided.

The mission of the European Hydration Institute (EHI) is to raise awareness of

the importance of hydration for health, wellness and performance by:

Providing an authoritative source of science-based

information about hydration which can be used for developing strategies

to further advance both scientific and consumer understanding of

hydration issues.

Raising awareness of the importance of proper hydration and

ensuring that hydration needs are well understood so that they can be

included in public health agendas. Special attention to fluid needs is

required at key times such as during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding

as well as in populations like children and the elderly. Maintaining proper

hydration levels when playing sport is important and can impact on

performance.

The European Hydration Institute works with independent scientists,

health and nutrition professionals and other interested parties to develop

resources that can be used to stimulate the professional and public

understanding necessary to encourage appropriate hydration in all

sectors of the population.

The EHI is partnering with other organisations and it is keen to engage other

institutions with an interest in the human hydration field. Please contact Dr.

Jane Holdsworth, Director of the EHI, for further information:

[email protected]

http://www.europeanhydrationinstitute.org


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