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My mum has Alzheimer’s, these hydrating Jelly Drops sweets help boost her water intake

·5-min read
<p>Made from 95 per cent water, each individual drop contains 12.5ml</p> (The Independent)

Made from 95 per cent water, each individual drop contains 12.5ml

(The Independent)

We never hear the end of the importance of water. Digestive problems? Drink some water. Acne? Drink some water. On a fitness kick? Drink some water. Blinding headache from last night’s vino? Drink some water.

H20 helps with flushing out waste, regulating body temperature and helping your brain operate: it truly is our life source and crucial to the body’s continuing function.

As a carer for my mum who has Alzheimer’s disease, it is a constant, uphill battle trying to keep her hydrated. Dehydration is a common challenge for those living with memory problems, often they can forget to drink enough water which worsens their existing condition while causing a host of new ones.

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My mum almost exclusively drinks orange juice, she out and out refuses to drink plain water; a common issue with those living with Alzheimer’s. We tried squash, but she cottoned on it wasn’t fruit juice, and ice lollies hurt her teeth.

If you were to leave a glass of water beside her, she would either refuse to drink it or forget it was even there. When my mum was hospitalised for the second time with dehydration related issues, I was at a loss at how to up her water intake without the indignity of forcing it down her.

Then I found Jelly Drops, a gloriously simple solution to a complex problem, as all the best products are. Jelly Drops’s founder, Lewis Hornby, came up with these ingenious sweets when his grandma, Pat, was rushed to hospital with severe dehydration and he and his family were warned to prepare themselves for bad news.

Luckily Pat made a full recovery but Lewis was left thinking how something seemingly so simple as low water intake could have such a devastating effect. He saw a problem and thought why shouldn’t he be the one to solve it? I’m thankful he did.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Jelly Drops

Jelly drops are chewable sweets made up of 95 per cent water, with each individual drop containing 12.5ml of the stuff. The sweets are ergonomically designed so as to make the drops easy to pick up for those who struggle with dexterity and are wrapped in recyclable packaging. They even arrive on a subscription-based service so it’s one less thing for carers to have to worry about.

The drops are sugar-free, low-calorie and gluten-free, so suitable for diabetics and celiacs alike. Vegan-friendly, they also and forgo gelatin for plant-based gelling agents, and are completely cruelty free. Jelly Drops are free of common food allergens and made in a tree nut and peanut free environment, so those who suffer with allergic reactions are all good too. Its founder went to great effort to ensure that these smart little sweets could be used by everyone.

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And used by everyone they have been; not just by people living with Alzhiemer’s and memory problems, but by those with autism, learning difficulties, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease. As the coronavirus pandemic wanes on, the Jelly Drops crew have upped their game to make sure its clever candies are available to those who need them most. The brand has been sending products to a number of NHS Covid wards, not just for the patients but for the worn out staff whom, after long hours in PPE, are exhausted and dehydrated.

The Jelly Drops team are also proud partners of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Innovation Accelerator, a programme which invests in new products or services that aim to improve the lives of people affected by dementia, meaning that one per cent of profits from every box sold goes straight back to the Alzheimer’s Society.

These ingenious sweets have had such a marked difference in so many lives; the Jelly Drops website is littered with moving testimonials and photos from carers, and if that doesn’t warm your heart I don’t know what will.

My own mum really loves them. The first time I gave her the sweets, I left her alone with them for five minutes and was pleased to find upon my return that she had eaten the whole tray. I no longer have to pressure her to finish off a glass of water, I simply hand her the box and she happily munches away.

She considers the Jelly Drop’s as a treat to indulge in and seeing her face light up when she thinks we’ve bought her a present is a treat for me too. Our next batch will be arriving soon, and I’m certain they will go down just as easily.

Buy now £5.70, Jellydrops.com

The verdict: Jelly drops

For me, Jelly Drops are the definitive game changing product. Water is such an essential part in making sure our bodies run smoothly and anything that can give me, and carers like me, the peace of mind that our loved ones are getting enough hydration is a solid yes.

The health benefits of Jelly Drops are apparent but these clever sweets allow people to up their water intake independently and give them a sense of dignity which, to me, is immeasurable.

For more game-changing products, read our review of the pet feeder that stopped our editor’s cat from waking her up at 3am

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