How To Make Cutting and Peeling Safer and More Enjoyable
June 16, 2011
Daily Living Aids for Around The House
June 16, 2011
Show all

Social Meals Made Easy With Assistive Devices

You like being sociable. You like spending time with family and friends, and what better way to pass your time with people you enjoy than to break bread together?

Food has long been a favorite way to bring people together. Meals act as a convenient pretext for people to spend time together, and meals allow people to see each other in their most raw, unadorned state.

If you are elderly, disabled, or simply find mealtimes difficult — why should you miss out on all the joy, laughter, and conversation? No need to, though, if you take advantage of assistive devices for mealtimes.

Adapted Bowls and Plates

Since when did food develop a mind of its own? This certainly seems to be the case when peas choose to roll off the plate; when meatloaf decides to “loaf” on the plate and not meet your mouth; when mandarin oranges or mango slip around. Plates and bowls are simply not ergonomically designed — whether or not you have physical challenges.

But adapted bowls and plates are smart. They have partitions to keep the corn away from the potatoes; lips and guards to prevent food from sliding off the side; and ingenious warmers activated by hot water to keep everything toasty.

Or is it the plate and bowl itself that seems to slide around? Now there are plates with suction-padded bases to keep the dish firm and steady while you cut or scoop your food.

Spreading Raspberry Jam and Bread?

So this brings up a more vital question. You’re out to breakfast with some good friends. You order toast, and your lips are already watering as you contemplate the tasty raspberry jam. Question is: how do you spread the jam, without the bread sliding all over?
Simple. You’ve got a clever little device called a Spreadboard tucked away in your purse. Two lips hook over the side of the table, while on top there are two guards that hold the bread in place. Spread away! One hand is all you need.

Have Trouble Holding Your Fork? Help is On the Way!

Forks, knives, and spoons seem almost diabolically designed to tax a person’s hand strength. Persons with arthritis especially find it difficult to hold onto a fork for any extended period of time — if at all.

Manufacturers of adapted eating devices are well aware of this, and have pulled out all stops to provide a wide variety of straps, clips, and holders to assist with handling eating utensils. Most of these holders are so efficient that no finger strength at all is needed: the hand and the holder alone do the work.

Mats for Eating…And for Afterwards

Finally, if you don’t need anything like the suction-based plates or bowls, you might find the non-slip mats to be quite useful. These are “grippy” (but not sticky) surfaces for your plate or bowl, and a neat way to clean up after your meal. Best thing about them is they can be used for other activities after your meal: playing cards, writing, or using the telephone or calculator.