Community group’s warning of summer dehydration

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Do you or does someone you know suffer from headaches? Do you feel lethargic or have a dry mouth?

These are all signs that you may not be drinking enough and you could be dehydrated.

The warning comes from West Sussex’s Meals on Wheels service, along with a reminder that older people can be particularly susceptible to the effects of dehydration.

As well as providing nutritious lunches and dinners, the Meals on Wheels service can help to keep elderly or vulnerable people hydrated.

The WRVS volunteers who deliver the meals are also able to check on the clients using the service by chatting to them and they will often ask if they have had a drink.

It is recommended that people should aim to drink around 1.6 litres of fluid each day – ideally water, while sugary or fizzy drinks should be avoided if possible.

Dehydration can cause several uncomfortable side effects, including headaches, dizziness, fatigue and clumsiness.

It can cause falls, which may lead to injuries and possible hospitalisation.

And if ignored, it can lead to serious conditions such as seizures, low blood pressure – maybe even fatality, as blood circulation can be restricted by severe dehydration.

Graham Tyler, West Sussex County Council’s deputy cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “Staying hydrated is extremely important for us all.

“It’s recommended that we should drink around eight glasses each day to help us stay healthy.

“Don’t wait until you are thirsty to reach for a drink, as thirst is a sign that you may already be dehydrated.

“It’s also important to remember that dehydration isn’t only a summer problem. If you don’t drink enough, it can hospitalise you – whatever the weather.”

For more information about dehydration, including advice, please visit www.nhs.uk

For details of the West Sussex Meals on Wheels service, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk