My Grandfather Doesn't Like the Taste of Water? What Are Some Tips to Keep Him From Being Dehydrated?

5 answers | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
Wearethedreamers asked...

I was reading this post and someone mentioned something very interesting. My grandfather as difficult as is to get him to want to take a bath(not his fault, and I understand the disease, the progression of it and the reality that we can't control our minds:(. One thing that concerns me, is that he dislikes water, to the point he won't even take more than a couple of sips without giving non-verbal cues through his face, along with grunting sounds after a couple sips. Could this indirectly correlate to his dislike of water because of baths, showers? I'm very interested as reading that post seems that it could potentially be a reason, albeit each individual is different in life, why he is disgusted by water? Or, could water taste differently(metalic for example to him? He eats well, drinks other things(chamomille tea, pedialyte which I'm not sure that could be substitute for water) so I wouldn't seem to think that water in and by itself has a differing taste. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Expert Answers

Monica is an occupational therapist and designer of adapted dementia products through her company MindStart. Activities for Persons With Memory Loss. In addition, she works with the Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association and the University of Minnesota on dementia issues. MindStart provides age-appropriate and stage-appropriate dementia activities, such as games, puzzles, and books. The items are simplified to meet the needs of various stages of dementia while remaining dignified and familiar in appearance

You are right to be concerned that your grandfather does not like to the taste of water, as you do not want him to become dehydrated. In my experience, his dislike of the taste of water likely does not correlate to his dislike of the feeling water during a shower. But is not completely out of the question, if he perhaps had some past traumatic experience with water, like a near drowning or being thrown into water unexpectedly. It is good that he will drink tea. You might also try water flavored with lemon, cucumber, strawberry, or watermelon. Just put a few slices/chunks of the fruit into the water. I find all of these to be very tasty! Hope that provides some help to you.

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Community Answers

Oc senior care answered...

You might also try a flavored water such as an orange flavored mineral water or a berry flavored water sweetened with Splenda. Both can be found at most drug stores and or grocery stores.

Christinasmom answered...

I felt compelled to answer even though I am not a medical professional, but a caregiver daughter. Your experience sounds like my dad! :-) He would not drink water either and we never understood why. Neither did he I guess, but it just wasn't going to happen. The doctor suggested that we try Gatorade or some similar product as the electrolytes in the drinks would help to keep him hydrated. I thought he was doing good drinking coffee and black tea as it kept him drinking he did like them. Come to find out they are diuretic and dehydrated him further so we had to limit them. (dehydration makes confusion worse; it makes everything worse) He did like Gatorade and that helped. It may get pricey, so at first you might look up recipes on the internet for Home Made Gatorade or Electrolyte Drinks. They have ingredients from your pantry and you can make them flavorful or not, according to what he likes. (My son would go through a gallon a day as he worked outside in the heat, but it helped him) If that doesn't seem to be something he likes then go for the pricey stuff at the stores. They are also available in powder form (limited flavors) to help the budget. As I said, the dislike of drinking water is just something that stayed with my dad. Not sure if it had something to do with his past and being in the war or if had to do with growing up at the end of the Depression- but whatever it was, it stayed with him his whole life. And that was okay... Hope this helps a little.

Angiesan answered...

Water can be replaced simply by eating juicy fruit, make fruit part of every meal. And I think green tea does not dehydrate. I have read that eating large amounts of fruit will replenish all the water a body needs to prevent dehydration and thirst will no longer be a problem. I have spent a lot of time traveling through forests where water is hard to find and in a few countries where most water is undrinkable, (Un-whashed, but peeled only) fruit has been the solution in both instances.

Angiesan answered...

For the young man who cannot get his grandpa to bathe. When my grandpa did not want to bathe, we used to take him fishing and tricked him into getting in the water. By the time we arrived home he would be cold and ready for a nice warm bath.