Eating and Drinking Made Easy
Preparing food and eating or drinking with ease is something many of us take for granted. This is not the case for many of the 14 million people living with a disability in the UK*. With an increasing ageing population and high numbers of familial or unpaid carers, the number of people finding mealtimes stressful could be considerably larger than most of us realise.
Various conditions have an impact on the desire to eat and/or the mobility and fine motor skills required to comfortably prepare food or feed oneself. The speed with which these activities can be managed can also impact on the enjoyment of a meal. Hand or arm weakness, joint pain and stiffness, tremors or reduced co-ordination can all present challenges. Using conventional cutlery, crockery and utensils can lead to frustration and accidents, but there is a wealth of simple solutions and gadgets out there to cater for all these situations. Living Made Easy has a huge range of information and advice from within the Eating and Drinking product categories, with hundreds of products to choose from. But where does one start? Here are a few simple items of assistive technology that you might find useful.
Our Six Product Picks
Keep Warm Bowl
For many people, eating is an activity that can take an increased amount of time, often meaning that food is cold and less palatable. Gadgets that keep food warm or cold can allow an individual to eat food at the right temperature, but at their own pace, reducing stress and making the food more enjoyable. One such product is the Ornamin Model 203 Keep Warm Bowl. The easy to fill openings can be filled with hot or cold water, or even crushed ice to keep the food at the proper temperature, whether that is to keep morning porridge warm, or ice cream cold.
“After a stroke, my husband can take his time to feed himself. The bowl is strong, non-slip and easy to clean.**”
Stabilising Spoons and Bowls with Rims
Shakes and tremors can also make eating difficult, as getting food onto cutlery and keeping it there successfully can be hard. This can cause food to spill, slow eating, and increase frustration. An easy way to deal with this is by using products that are designed to offset tremors. These products can be stabilising spoons that use counter weights and rotation to offset the movement caused by tremors or plates and bowls with rims that are designed to prevent food from spilling off of the plate. The Ornamin Plate with a sloped base is one such plate. The sloped base and inner lip of designs like this make it easier to scoop up food without spilling it, whilst non-slip bases also help to decrease the chance that food will be spilt, meaning that it is useful for everyone no matter your range of mobility.
“My elderly bedridden mother manages to eat all kinds of foods, solids and liquids from it without spillage accidents.**”
Drinking can also become difficult as you age or due to disability, whether this is due to spillage, or the fact that tilting cups can be difficult for those with limited mobility in either their arms or neck. Cups with an internal cone shape allow you to tilt and take the last sip of tea without having to lean your head back or overly tilt the mug. Due to the internal shape of the mug, the liquid inside flows freely even when you are lying down. Some of these mugs and cups have thermal walls and alternative handle shapes so that drinks stay hot and don’t spill.
“I bought this for my mum who has Alzheimer's and who finds porcelain mugs too heavy to lift to her mouth repeatedly. It is light and easy for her to handle. Cool drinks stay nicely cool because of the insulation.**”
You might also like to take a look at our Hints and Tips article about making a cuppa
The same challenges of reduced mobility and fine motor skills, stiffness and or weakness and tremors cause issues when it comes to food preparation. There are many gadgets and pieces of equipment that can help with this, many of which can be found on the Living Made Easy Food and Preparation Utensils and Food Preparation Equipment categories.
Thank You For Reading
This article was sponsored by Manage At Home - Your Online Medequip Retail Store.
You can find more support on eating and drinking in the following categories:
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*To find out more about disability facts visit the Scope website.
**Testimonials from customers who purchased the above products.
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