Jelly Drop

Jelly Drops sweets to tackle dehydration in dementia

Inspired by his grandmother Pat, Lewis Hornby has invented bright, bite-sized sweets known as Jelly Drops to tackle dehydration in dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to be partnering with the Jelly Drops team to bring their fantastic product to people living with dementia.

Lewis’ story

Lewis’ grandmother Pat is living with dementia and was sadly hospitalised due to dehydration. Inspired by his grandmother’s love for sweets, Lewis put his innovative skills to the test and developed bright, raindrop shaped sweets known as Jelly Drops. The sweets are made up of 90% water and other electrolytes to make them even more hydrating.

Jelly drops

Lewis Hornby and his grandmother Pat.

Lewis and the Jelly Drops team have worked closely with Pat and other people with dementia to develop their fantastic product. This week the team were also awarded the people’s choice award at [email protected]  

Bringing Jelly Drops to the people who need them

Alzheimer’s Society is delighted to be supporting Jelly Drops over the next year through our Accelerator programme

Our panel of experts and people affected by dementia worked with the Society to select Accelerator partners who receive £100,000 to continue to develop their product and bring them to the people who need them faster. 

Over the next year Alzheimer’s Society will be working closely with the Jelly Drops team to continue to develop their brilliant product alongside people affected by dementia and bring it to the market.

Jelly Drops team

The Jelly Drops team.

Dehydration and dementia

Dehydration is a common issue for older people and especially those with dementia.

Often people living with dementia will forget to drink or will not be interested in drinking. Unfortunately this can lead to confusion and even hospitalisation.

This effect is often exaggerated as the symptoms of dehydration can be confused with the symptoms of dementia. This makes it more difficult to spot dehydration in people living with the condition. 

Can I purchase Jelly Drops today?

At this stage Jelly Drops are not available to buy as they are still in development.

Alzheimer’s Society will be working with the Jelly Drops team to support them to develop their product and make it available as widely as possible to people affected by dementia.

Sign up for updates about Jelly Drops

Stay up to date on the development of Jelly Drops and when they will be available. 

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Add your own

Wow so simple yet so effective well done ! I hope to see them available very soon I know it work well for my mum

I think the jelly sweets are a great and innovative. I hope these are marketed soon

What a great idea. Definately would help keep my Mother better hydrated. If you want anyone to try them for marketing research please let me know.

Great idea but I would be cautious re. their use with a population in which swallowing difficulties are prevalent. Could pose a large choking risk. Would be interested to find out more and trial their texture.

I currently do these at the care home where I work. As you pointed out tho at present they are not suitable for people with Dysphasia.

I think you mean Dysphagia!
The term DysphaSIA is a speech/language issue.

What do you use now? Is it something anyone can buy? My great aunt desperately needs something like this as she never drinks enough water unless someone is there telling her take a sip to every 10 minutes. Would be amazing to get something to help. Thanks

Excellent comment. One has to think "out of the box " particularly when dealing with this type of condition.

We would love to test run these in our EMI home we have 74 residents all with varying degrees of dementia and although we really encourage fluid I take if the resident refuses then its is very difficult to keep them hydrated most of our lovely ladies and gents have a sweet tooth so this would go down a storm for sure xx

What a fantastic idea. My mother loved sugary jellies in her last few years and having hydrating ones would have been even better. Well done Jelly Drops team.

These would have a wider application that just people with dementia. But I would be interested in how they are flavoured and sweetened. Can they be given to diabetics for instance?

Many people with dementia also suffer from diabetes. Wouldn't it be sweet if Jelly Drops could be diabetic-friendly too?! Good luck!
(PS it may be worthwhile to state on the packaging, depending on the sugar content and eating instructions, "not suitable for diabetics".)

Jelly drops they are going to be a God send to all concerned. Brilliant idea

A great idea as it is a constant issue to try to keep people hydrated despite best intentions. Often people will take a 'sweet' as its small but will refuse a drink out of fear of incontinence. I wish you the very best of luck.

Simple, brilliant!

A great idea! But I would also ecco please make them diabetes friendly.

A wonderful idea but I am curious how the development and marketing of these will be controlled to ensure they are safe for or are not given to somebody with a swallowing difficulty who requires texture modified fluids or diet. The risk being aspiration pneumonia. I will be very interested to see how this product develops. I wish you every success in its development.

I cannot wait to see the progress of Jelly Drops they will be so invaluable to those who need redydration

Great idea That will good for my mom

Great idea but as an oral health promoter I am also hoping they are sugar free. People with dementia do not always remember to brush their teeth, and later into the disease, are resistant to carers helping with tooth brushing. This may have a detrimental effect on their health as the oral bacteria is breathed in and also travels around the body in the blood.

Hi Lynette I was going to post the same especially as more people are dentate that are living with Dementia. Fingers crossed they will be sugar free!

I am a dentist who treats people with Dementia - its is not clear if this product contains sugar?
If it does it should not be given to people with teeth, The caries (decay) risk is just too high.

I agree. I keep seeing these pop up on Facebook. I am a dental assistant. I was very concerned about the "sweets" and the sugar content. People in senior care home have HUGE problems with tooth decay and tooth care never mind providing sweet candies for them. I really was hoping to read that they have no sugar but I keep seeing "sweets" and "candies" associated with this product. On the plus side...hydration may help with dry mouth and gum disease? Not sure exactly how these things work but if they contain sugar..PLEASE think of their teeth and quality of life. Most people in these types of places cannot even brush their teeth or grip a toothbrush and no one provides tooth care for them. It is one if the major issues brought up at dental homes should have more access to dental care.

I would say that the risk of acute kidney injury following lack of adequate hydration, coupled with the risk of urinary tract infection far out does the risk of dental caries. There are ways of caring for the mouths of patients with dementia. It is a risk v benefit situation and surely it is far better to avoid unnecessary hospital admissions with the distress that this brings than the possibility of the person needing a filling?

It is not just a case of the person possibly needing a filling, the risk is that the sugar causes decay/ root caries in a person whose oral mouth care is probably not well looked after, if they have a dry mouth due to medication and dehydrated the sugar will decay the teeth even quicker. The person is then highly likely to need a general anaesthetic to extract teeth. The GA poses a risk of worsening the dementia or even death in a frail older person.
As an oral health promoter we suggest keeping a spray bottle with fresh cool water at hand to hydrate the mouth.

Liz Anderson. thoughts exactly. And I am a qualified dental nurse now working as a carer.

I understand about the decay, but when someone is in this stage of dementia where they're not getting enough hydration, teeth are the last thing on the caretaker's mind as they are trying to save their life. Most people in the latter stages of this awful disease no longer know how to swallow; their teeth really don't matter anymore.

My colleagues tried these at this year's 'expo' at the NEC - they were apparently fantastic!

A lovely idea BUT ........we have to be careful , exactly as the few comments mentioned by DR'S, dentist's,& Health experts. We have to be careful who we give these sweets etc to, too much sugar /fat,
should not be allowed, which is in some sweets , not milk chocolate only dark chocolate etc. what a lovely thought from the chap who was thinking about our lovely older friends. Fingers crossed he will come up with the right recipe, Margaret Park best wishes..

What a fantastic well thought out idea

Fantastic idea. My Mum is constantly dehydrated but loves sweets. At 90 years old I’m not going to stop her having a sweet treat if that’s what makes her happy!

I agree with all the above re size, content and need for healthy ingredients.When will they be on the market? Please make the price feasible for a weekly 'treat'. If you are still in need of marketing volunteers, I can offer our group to help.

I think they are a fantastic idea, my mum had dementia and we had real trouble getting her to drink and she was constantly dehydrated. I’m sure she would have loved these as she did have a sweet tooth. Good luck with your amazing idea

Wish these were out now. Am from New Zealand and the dementia home I work in has currently got a few cases of residents who are, or have been unwell with the flu and not eating and drinking well as a result. These would have been a God send we try to encourage them to have plenty of fluids but most often say no but will take a lolly when offered. Will be watching out for these in the future

I would love my mum to trial the Jelly Drops, de-hydration is crippling her mentally on a daily basis :(

This is awesome! Something definitely needed. I would also love these as I am dehydrated from cancer and my surgeries. I can no longer digest or absorb. Can’t wait to be able to buy these. This is a wonderful idea!!!

hi sounds like a great idea, would like to know like others if they are suitable for diabetic diet and also if they are suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

Nice idea, but I really hope the needs of people with dementia who experience dysphagia are considered. Alongside swallowing difficulties, many people with dysphagia forget food in their mouths while eating - these sizable (and it appears sticky) sweeties could pose a real risk if given to the wrong client.

Totally agree.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share your queries and concerns about Jelly Drops. We are really excited to be supporting the Jelly Drops team to bring their product to people affected by dementia, and your comments are invaluable.

Over the next year, we will be working with the team to make sure these types of concerns, such as sugar levels and swallowing risks, are taken into account. We will ensure people affected by dementia are involved in the development of the product. We’ll keep you updated with the all the latest developments.

Thanks again, everyone.

What a fab idea. They would have been great for my mum
Well done

sounds good. Do they contain any sugar? How long do they take to be dissolved in the mouth and swallowed? - Senior dental nurse

When and where can these Jelly Drops be purchased when they come to market

I'd let my husband trial them if you need volunteers.

Cannot wait for these to be released. Hard to get my mum to drink but never refuses sweet things :)

Please let us know when they are available. My father really needs these

Will these jelly sweets be ok for diabetics who suffer with dementia. Be fantastic if they will.

Fantastic idea. My husband has early vascular dementia& has a very sweet tooth! Can’t wait to get these for him.

love this idea. I would like to know when they will be available and if I can find them where I live, in Puerto Rico. Thank you

I love this initiative. I would like to know when they will be available and if I can get them, I am from Puerto Rico. Thanks to the people who have supported this.

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