August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month. SMA is a neuromuscular disease that causes extreme weakness. Many people with neuromuscular conditions like SMA and Muscular Dystrophy have great difficulty eating due to weakness in the arms and hands. A person with SMA or MD often is unable to lift a glass and can have great difficulty getting food from the table to their mouth. In this article, we’ll look at some products that can make eating and drinking easier for people with severe weakness.
If you live with severe weakness, then you know that straws are necessary. As simple as they are, they seem to be one of the most genius inventions of all time. But for people who can’t lift a glass, a straw is still useless without having someone there to lift the glass a few inches off the table.
What you need is the Extra Long Flexible Drinking Straw. This thing is enormous, measuring 28 inches long. It has four sections and each one is flexible so that you can literally bend the straw to your will. Best of all, you can cut the straw to any length you need, and it’s washable and reusable.
Using the extra-long straw is only one half of the ultimate hands-free drinking setup. The other half are found in Freedom Cup Holders. Whether you want your drink to sit, unmovable, on the table or whether you want to mount it onto your wheelchair and take it on the go, Freedom Cup Holders are the answer.
The Freedom Suction Pad Cup Holder has a patented vacuum system keeps the cup holder firmly attached to a flat surface. Hit it with a hammer, it will not move or tip over.
The Freedom Wheelchair Cup Holder lets you hold drinks on either round or square tubing frames. This includes just about any kind of upright or horizontal tubing such as wheelchair frames, walkers, scooter, and bed rails.
Getting food off of the plate can be difficult for people with severe weakness. When struggling with a spoon or fork, the food doesn’t always cooperate and often likes to make a getaway off the side of the plate. The Inner Lip Plate is designed to keep your food on the plate. This adapted plate’s half inch rim allows you to use the edge of the plate to push food onto your spoon or fork while preventing it from spilling over the edge.
The Inner Lip Plate is made of durable plastic and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Because of the challenges like the ones we’ve discussed, people with severe weakness often take longer to eat and need a little more time to finish their meal without rushing. Because of this, food often gets cold before they can finish eating. Eating dinner becomes a race against time.
The Keep Warm Dish does exactly what it says, and does it quite brilliantly. It includes a chamber that surrounds the dish. When you fill the chamber with hot water, the Keep Warm Dish assures that your food will stay warm down to the last spoonful.
People with MD, SMA, and other conditions that cause severe weakness can benefit from adapted eating and drinking items like the ones we’ve discussed. Many times, small adaptations like these can make a big difference in quality of life and independence for people with severe weakness.