My dad just wont drink his fluids - advice

HI - Newbie to the site here and needing advice!
My Dad has vascular Parkinsons and is wheelchair/bed bound - this being the case for the past 2.5 years. He is cared for at home by my mum (late 70’s), my brother, me (as the relief at weekends!) and daily visiting carers. He is refusing to drink enough fluid and we have tried all sorts of sneaky ways to keep fluid intake up (extra gravy/ custard/ different flavoured drinks/ juicy fruit etc etc) but he just won’t drink enough.
Our parkinsons consultant has also lectured him on the importance of this to make the tablets work - but he just won’t drink and every sip has become a battle.

He keeps ending up in hospital with infections as well - each time it becomes a lengthier stay. He gets very angry / frustrated at us all when we try and get him to sip his drinks - we all sound like broken records and struggling to work out any new /innovative ways to sort this!

Advice greatly appreciated from those who may also have gone through this (or even - just support to say that this is normal in the ‘advanced’ parkinsons stage (which he is at) .

Thank you!


I would ask your dad why he does not like to increase his fluid intake.

It could be something to do with going to the toilet. Is he able to go to the toilet alone,
Is he embarrased,
Does not feel safe?
Does not like to bother people, feels a burden?

Sometimes elderly people can be a little stubborn. They are at a stage in their lives when help is needed this is hard for people who have always been in control.
It maybe this stubborness or refusal to drink fluids is an attempt to take back sense of control.

Lots of things may be contributing to him not taking more fluids try not to dismiss the fact he is wheelchair/bed bound and drinking more means more trips to the loo.

Can a pd nurse have a chat with him about how he feels ,avoiding lectures .

I had a similiar problem with my mum stubborn , I backed off just reminded her that to reduce risk of infection had to have 2 litres liquid a day. Just over 4 pints?

My mum drinks loads now it was her idea to increase fluids it was important to her not to be treated like (in her words) a child. Backing off helped in my case.

In the meantime I made jelly, blancmange, caramel puddings , egg custard, trifle all lots of liquid. Ice lollies, ice cream and soups. I was sneaky too.

Good luck and take care x


Hi Martini,

Did your Dad used to like a pint?. If so a pint of whatever beer he likes preferably no more than 3.5%, would I’m fairly sure be ok.

I drink plenty of fluids but still like a pint of ale now and then. The only trouble is having to go for a wee at least twice during the night. Would that be an additional problem?

Also lots of liquid food.


Thanks Teepee. I think the control thing is right. He cannot walk, talk and even swallowing is getting an issue… all of the above in fact regarding asking him how he feels does not get a response.
We have avoided lectures as much as possible-as you say, treating him like a child doesn’t work.

Thanks martini/ Jules re beer advice…sadly he was /is tee total ( not something we kids managed to get the hang of!)

He is also doubly incontinent hence full support for toileting and carers 4 x daily and family support.

I think the swallowing and coughing impacts and makes him concerned - although he would not admit to it. The PD consulstant told him as well as his GP and all hospital staff the last time he was admitted he needed to drink. We don’t want to lecture but we are getting to that point of what feels like constant nagging the last few weeks!

For urinary incontinence, I suggest he does some Kegel exercises.

Yes- going through exactly the same thing with my mum who has advanced parkinsons and has had it for 15 years. She is 77 and doesn’t drink enough. As a result of this, she always has urine infections and is fainting lots. Appreciate the tips above as I hadn’t considered liquid foods.

Try 4000 IU per day, needs several weeks to see effects.