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When eating becomes difficult using conventional cutlery and crockery, adaptive equipment for eating can make mealtimes easier and more enjoyable. If you or a loved one have difficulty eating independently as a result of arthritis, dementia, or other diseases that inhibit fine motor skills, investing in a few key items allows you to maintain dignity at the dinner table. A few simple adjustments will allow you to enjoying good food with your family.
If you or a loved one finds it hard to get around the house—or if you simply like to eat in comfort—a tray table makes eating and drinking in bed or on the sofa as straightforward as dining at the table. The swivel function provides a sturdy surface, and the table can be easily moved out the way to give you room to stand. Plus, the secure handle provides support at just the right height for getting out of chairs comfortably.
Adaptive utensils are among the most useful assistive devices for eating and drinking. For most people with issues that make eating difficult, the problem is using fiddly, uncomfortable cutlery. These easy-grip, weighted utensils are easy to hold steady, and the understated design means no one needs to know they’re adaptive.
A scooper bowl can prevent awkward spills at the dinner table. The high-rimmed design makes it much easier to scoop food onto utensils, without risking spillage. Thanks to the suction cup base, the bowl stays put and can be used one-handed.
For a truly versatile assistive device for eating and drinking—and beyond—Vive’s foam tubing is the ultimate go-to product. Simply trim the colored lengths of foam to fit any utensils that would benefit from a more comfortable grip. Reusable and dishwasher-safe, you’ll never run out of uses for this product.
In most cases, the comfort and ease of eating can be significantly improved just by switching out a few key table items. For this, a universal handle set can make all the difference. The ergonomic plastic handle is designed for easy gripping, and even though it’s a larger size, it’s surprisingly lightweight. Use the handle to adapt your everyday cutlery, and before long, you’ll be adding built-up handles to items all over the house.
Eating from low-lipped plates can be problematic when using standard cutlery is uncomfortable. Ableware’s scooper plate features a high rim and a curved edge—ideal for eating with one hand and reducing spillages. The suction cup base provides an added layer of security, keeping your dinner on your plate.
Adaptive utensils make eating a much more comfortable experience, but there’s little they can do to help you cut into a steak! If finding the strength to slice through tough meat is difficult, a rocking T-knife is the ideal solution. It lifts the pressure from the wrists and hands, while letting you enjoy the foods you love.
To get the most out of assistive devices for eating and drinking, consider the specific complaint that’s making eating difficult for you or your loved one. Below are the most common concerns aided by adaptive equipment for eating—and the best products to make eating and drinking easier.
If you suffer from arthritic hands or similar joint pain, look for adaptive equipment with a wide, ergonomic grip. Foam tubing or built-up handles relieve joint pain and ensure a comfortable grip for eating and drinking. A rocking T-knife is another great purchase if cutting food is painful.
Additionally, stiff hands can make spills more likely, so a scooper plate or bowl is a great investment to improve control.
Those suffering from shaky hands due to Parkinson’s disease should opt for weighted utensils that will ensure a steady grip. A loss of control can also lead to spills, so consider investing in a scooper plate or bowl.
Sometimes eating at the dinner table can be tricky due to related mobility issues. If moving around the house isn’t as easy as it once was, a tray table takes the stress out of mealtime and allows you to eat in comfort.
Those investing in adaptive equipment for eating can also benefit from adaptive equipment for other areas of your life. Below are some of the best products to make daily tasks easier, so you can worry less and enjoy life more.
Take the hassle out of fiddly tasks like buttoning up shirts with a button hook. Most button hooks also have a zipper pull to take the stress out of getting dressed.
A shoe horn is a staple item in most busy homes, but investing in an extra-long variety will save you from bending down to get shoes on and off. Your legs and back will thank you.
A dressing stick will save you from daily aches and pains. Look for a grippy rubber hook that can pick up clothes from the floor or wardrobe and an extended reach to keep you from twisting to put on dresses and shirts.
Whether it’s the driver’s seat, the dining table, or the desk chair, a swivel seat cushion allows you to get into position without bending uncomfortably. Lightweight and portable, it’ll be there for you wherever you need it.
A bed safety rail prevents falls while you get into and out of bed, and it keeps you from falling out of bed at night. Designed to guarantee a safe night’s sleep, it will help you get out of bed gently in the morning.
Assistive devices don’t have to be revolutionary—a gel seat cushion is a simple and cost-effective way to stay comfortable during long periods of sitting. Buy one for an elderly loved one, but don’t be surprised if the whole family want to use it!
Adaptive equipment for eating comes in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to consider your specific needs. However, one of the greatest things about the products on this list is that they’re remarkably affordable, giving you the flexibility to explore and find out what works best for you.
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