Sunday, May 25, 2014

Caregiver Aids #18: The Hydrant

Hi, all! I see it's been 9 months since my last post. All is well here in the land of Cranky and Skip, except for the inexorable robbing of functionality that comes along with progressive MS. Skip's hands are weakening, slowly but surely, and she is no longer able to hold up and drink from a 12-oz water bottle topped with a sports cap. She's been using that method of drinking water for years and years. I found on a product called the hydrant:

As you can see, it's a large bottle you fill with water. At the end of the hose, there's a mouthpiece with a small cut in it. The cut opens when you bite down on the mouthpiece but otherwise stays closed. For Skip, we clip the hose to the front of her shirt. Then all she has to do is grab the hose and get it into her mouth to get a drink.

In my opinion, they're expensive for what they're made of -- about $25 on Allegro Medical and a bit more on Amazon -- but they're the only product of their type I've found. Replacement hoses are available for about $7 or $8, which is good, because we rinse the hose every day but don't want to wash it with soap as we'll never get it completely rinsed out.

Skip was resistant to it at first as she hates change and hated how it demonstrated growing weakness in her hands. Now she is totally comfortable with it and uses it both in bed, hanging from a rail, and in her chair, hanging from the back, similar to the second picture, above.