Personal care activities "...are taken for granted until weakness or a disability makes them difficult to accomplish independently or safely," according to the Caregivers' Handbook at Senior Mag. Being on crutches makes it difficult to carry other things. If you are determined to be up and about, a drink cup holder will leave your hands free for your crutches while allowing you to stay hydrated. The same holes that allow you to adjust your crutches will accept the bolts of your cup holder. Varied-diameter PVC rings will accommodate most standard beverage cups up to 32 oz.
Items you will need
- Instant adhesive
- 1/2-inch wide by 3-inch long by 1/8-inch thick piece of plastic
- One each: 4-inch, 3 1/2-inch, and 3-inch diameter by 1-inch wide PVC rings
- Power drill, 1/4-inch bit
- 3 carriage bolts, 1/4-inch diameter by 1 1/2-inch long
- Matching fender washers and wing nuts
Apply instant adhesive to a 1/2-inch wide by 3-inch long piece of plastic and place it across the diameter of the 3-inch PVC ring. This will make a bottom support for beverage containers with a smaller diameter.
Drill a 1/4-inch diameter hole through one side of each ring, drilling outward from the inside of the ring rather than downward.
Adjust your crutches to your correct height. Note the positions of the unused adjustment holes.
Insert a bolt through the drilled holes in each PVC ring, from the inside of each ring to the outside, and then into one of the adjustment holes on the crutches and out the other side.
Place a fender washer and wing nut on each bolt. Tighten the wing nut all the way.
Use a hacksaw or grinder to cut the end of the bolt off and remove any burrs if the bolt sticks more than 1/8-inch past the nut.
Remove cup holder if you need to adjust your crutches again.
This cup holder was designed for maximum independence by the user. You can customize it to the size and type of beverage container you prefer. It is easy to attach and remove with one uninjured hand, as long as you are able to press the other hand against the cup holder while turning the wing nut. The other hand does not have to be able to grip.
"Relying on others for assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, mobility, grooming, reading and writing...can lead to frustration and depression..." says the Oregon Department of Human Services. If you feel your wishes for independence are not being supported, you have the right to speak to a state ombudsman. The National Long-term Care Ombudsman Resource Center has an interactive map you can use to locate and contact your local ombudsman.