About the DrinkUp 21

The Original Drinkup Hands-free Drinking System is a versatile drinking aid ideal for for individuals with reduced mobility or those in rehabilitation. First prototyped in 1997, it has been carefully designed to encourage independence, restore dignity and improve mental well-being. It aids with faster recovery and helps to prevent dehydration, therefore, avoiding other complications such as urinary infections, confusion, impaired renal function and blood clotting problems.    

Positioning, Fitting & Moving:

The Drinkup21 is both easy to use and straightforward to set up. For the best possible results, always attach the Drinkup21 to a suitably strong and stable surface within comfortable distance of the user. It should be set up at a similar height to the user's head so that the flexible arm, drinking tube and bite valve are as horizontal as possible. This will minimise the effect of gravity meaning that the user can simply control the flow of water by sucking. However, for those with limited sucking abilities, gravity can be used to assist them; please see below ‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode and the ‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode information sheet for full details.  

To ensure optimum longevity, it is important that the Drinkup21 is carried with both hands, preferably with one hand supporting the base. It may be carried when empty or with the bottle in place but take care to ensure that it is never carried by holding the flexible arm. 

The Drinkup21 comes with a 1Litre bottle and lid. Smaller, alternative bottles may fit into the stand, but please take care when doing this as it may not hold as securely as the bottle supplied. Larger bottles or cups should not be used. It may be necessary to empty the drinking tube when refilling or replacing the bottle. To do this, ensure the flexible arm, drinking tube and bite valve are above the level of the bottle, and manually squeeze the bite valve. This will allow air into the bite valve, draining the drink back into the bottle.

Flexible Arm Limitation:

The flexible arm is designed to withstand gentle bends, however, tight bends will damage the structure. Care should be taken to avoid bending the flexible arm within 50mm of each end. Also, the bending radius at any point along the flexible arm should be no less than 50mm. 

Thickened Fluids: 

It is completely safe to use thickened fluids with the Drinkup21. Due to the nature of peoples’ different abilities and requirements, it’s a simple case of careful assessment to determine the best consistency and set-up. In general, thin custard or medium syrup consistencies work well for most people, whilst thicker mixes are slower moving along the drinking tube and are harder to suck. The set-up can be adjusted so gravity assists and the ‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode can also be used with thickened fluids.

‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode: 

Drinkup21 may also be used safely when it’s positioned above the User’s head height to allow a controlled siphon feed. This arrangement is helpful when the User has a particularly weak suck ability or is unable to suck. By aiming the flexible arm and drinking tube downwards, so the bite valve is lower than the base of the Drinkup21 stand, allows gravity to be used to an advantage. The User then only has to apply light pressure to the bite valve to control the flow. Please see the ‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode information sheet for full details.

 Caution: An assessment is required prior to using the ‘Safe-Siphon’ Mode. Extra care must be taken to assess the User’s ability to control their ‘on/off‘ bite action and therefore, the amount of drink dispensed into their mouth at any one time.

Cleaning, Hygiene & Care: 

To reduce the risk of infection in hospitals, care homes etc. we advise frequent cleaning of the Drinkup21 hardware and changing/disposal of the Consumables. Please follow the local protocols, training or guidance which may apply at your location.

Drinkup21 Hardware (stand, clamp, flexible arm assembly, bottle & lid)

  • Drinkup21 may be cleaned with disposable sterilising wipes and washed by hand in warm water & mild detergent. Sterilising solution may also be used. Thoroughly rinse, drain, drip dry/wipe dry before reuse or storage
  • Drinkup21 may be washed in a dishwasher at a maximum temperature of 85 Celsius
  • do not place Drinkup21 in a microwave or conventional oven. The supplied bottle & lid must not be used in a microwave or conventional oven
  • do not use bleach, abrasive or aggressive cleaning pads, materials, chemicals or polish.
  • Drinkup21 hardware may only be utilised by another person after thorough cleaning/sterilising

Drinkup21 Consumables (drinking tube, angle connector & bite valve)

When Drinkup21 is used by an individual in their own home, Consumables may be reused, providing they are adequately washed and cared for. Consumables may be washed and reused for a number of days or weeks. However, the reusability largely depends on the type of drink being consumed i.e. fresh water will leave very little residue whereas fruit juice or sweet drinks will leave more residue. Long-term use of the same set of Consumables is not recommended. If in doubt of the cleanliness, do not reuse. The food grade PVC drinking tube may discolour and appear ‘cloudy’ after use, although this is not harmful.

  • the Drinking tube and angle connector may be washed by hand in warm water & mild detergent. Sterilising solution may also be used      
  • a tube cleaning brush is available to help clean inside the drinking tube and angle connector. Thoroughly rinse, drain & drip-dry
  • the bite valve may also be washed by hand, but great care must be taken not to damage the opening slit/valve faces
  • Consumables must not be washed in a dishwasher, as this is not effective for internal cleaning.
  • never share Consumables between different Users

General Use & Care Information: 

  • keep Drinkup21 and Consumables away from all sources of heat, flame and smoker’s materials and out of direct sunlight
  • for transportation or long-term storage, we recommend keeping the original packaging safely out of sight and reach of babies and young children. Otherwise, please recycle or dispose of packaging in a responsible manner
  • Drinkup21 should not be used in conjunction with any other product or accessory, other than those supplied by or specifically approved by Afia Ltd.
  • only use Original Drinkup21 Consumables with the Drinkup21 Hands-free Drinking System (compatible with the earlier DUTL4. With the DU1 or DU2, a tube collar should also be used. Tube collar packs are available from your supplier)
  • do not use Original Drinkup21 Consumables in conjunction with any other product or for any other purpose.

Advice, Customer Service & Spares: Please email us: sales@afia.co.uk, visit our website: www.drinkup.uk.com, or contact your supplier for further information.