Wessex AHSN is working in collaboration with Hampshire County Council to produce the Hydration at Home Toolkit, which includes an E-learning module.
Why was the E-learning Toolkit developed?
As part of our 'Hydration at Home' projects
(working with care homes and domiciliary carers to evaluate an approach to improve hydration among older people in their care), we provided face-to-face training to carers. Interestingly, the majority of carers said they already knew all about hydration - including how to identify dehydration and what to do. However, as the training sessions progressed, it became apparent that the carers were all assessing hydration in different ways, and were not aware of the latest research, such as the fact that using urine colour is not a reliable way of assessing hydration status in older people. In addition, we carried out a scoping exercise to look at what hydration training was available for carers. We found that whilst some basic elements of nutrition and hydration across the lifespan are available as part of the Care Certificate, this training did not include ageing specific messages, or strategies to support older people to drink more. It was clear that a hydration training package, which enabled carers to receive training in a flexible and accessible way, was needed.
How was the E-learning Toolkit developed?
The content for the hydration E-learning module was created using the latest evidence-based messages by Wessex AHSN's Registered Dietitian, Hydration Clinical Lead and Healthy Ageing Programme Manager. The content was adapted from the Hydration Champion's training materials originally developed by Hampshire County Council's PaCT team as part of the care home project. The material was then passed to an E-learning developer from Hampshire County Council who brought the content to life with interactive text and activities to keep the learners engaged. We then contacted care homes and domiciliary care agencies in the Wessex region to test out the draft module. The testing involved getting carers to complete a pre-training questionnaire, completing the E-learning module and then providing feedback (through a focus group or telephone interview) along with a post-training questionnaire so we can compare knowledge and confidence before and after.
Here are some images of carers from Seabourne House care home in Dorset, carrying out their hydration E-learning in the comfort of one of the their lounges. They completed the E-learning individually or in pairs, using their own devices:
What does the E-learning Toolkit consist of?
- Basic E-learning hydration module with the following features:
Split into four sections: 1) Define good and poor hydration and explain their impact, 2) Assess a person's hydration needs to minimise the risk of poor hydration, 3) Address a person's hydration needs to improve their health and wellbeing, 4) Assessment
Takes approx. 40 mins to complete
Includes an assessment at the end where you can test your knowledge and obtain a certificate
Can be accessed via computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone
- Grandad's Story (video)
- a video highlight how to recognise dehydration and provide support. Grandad's Story is also available with subtitles
, which is ideal for showing in GP practice waiting rooms or for people who with a hearing impairment
- Links to recommended resources (these are linked to each section of the E-learning module and can be viewed by downloading the PDFs from the 'resources' section on the right)
- Public health resources
- we have created hydration leaflet entitled 'Staying hydrated as we get older: advice and guidance for people over 65, their family, friends and carers'. This is available as a trifold leaflet
and as a large-print A4 version
. We have also created our 'top tips' poster. All resources can be viewed/downloaded from the 'resources' section on the right
Below, you will find links to additional links and resources from other organisations to help support your learning.
What are the next steps?
We are just finalising the testing of the E-learning module with carers from a range of roles and settings
We are planning to publish the E-learning module using Health Education England's e-lfh platform in April 2020
We are looking to get the toolkit endorsed by organisations such as the British Dietetic Association and the National Hydration Network
We are considering producing an 'advanced' package (more suited to manager and hydration champions), a learning app, podcasts, hydration leaflets and train-the-trainer packages