The importance of hydration for wheelchair users and what good hydration looks like

Hydration issues as a wheelchair user is something Josh Wintersgill, Founder of ableMove Ltd has struggled with all his life, but most noticeably since he became a full time wheelchair user at the age of 10. His challenges with staying hydrated have increased over time, which has gone hand in hand with the gradual deterioration of his condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

In Josh’s childhood years, he had the strength to drink independently, but over time, Josh has become reliant on others to help him take a drink. Josh is by no means alone, and it is extremely common for wheelchair users with poor upper body mobility and dexterity to struggle with hydration issues.

Some of the most common side effects caused by a dehydration are headaches, constipation, dizziness (which can lead to falls), confusion, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, pressure ulcers and skin conditions and overall poor health. Josh has frequently found himself dehydrated, and for him this usually manifests as severe fatigue and poor quality sleep and this is simply down to not drinking enough fluid. If you have darker than usual urine, then you may be dehydrated, and it is important to act quickly. Take a look at this handy guide, which will help you stay on track.

Having founded ableMove in 2017 and having to negotiate the daily challenges that come from owning and running an expanding business, Josh simply had to find a solution to this problem.

In 2020 Josh crossed paths with the Hydration Foundation run by Mark Moran who provide drinking bottles for individuals who struggle to independently drink fluids. In particular, the Hydrant bottle, which effectively allows anybody to drink without having to lift anything. Simply drink straight from a tube. It can be hung over the back of a wheelchair, on the side or end of a bed or sofa or anywhere you happen to be. Reclaiming independence when and where ever an individual wants to take a drink. The Hydrant bottle was introduced to Josh and was quite literally life changing. It has allowed Josh for example to take control over his own hydration and is another giant step towards independent living and exploring new possibilities, which is what ableMove and the range of products we offer has at the very core of our ethos.

Back in March 2020, ableMove UK and The Hydration Foundation created a fantastic partnership whereby customers who purchase a qualifying sling order through ableMove UK receives a free Hydrant bottle. Josh along with many of our customers are now enjoying their free hydrant bottles and staying well hydrated. Thanks to our friends at the Hydration Foundation.