What Kinds of Eating Aid are Available?
People might struggle with a number of different tasks at mealtimes. Those with conditions such as arthritis might benefit from large-handled cutlery that is easy to grip and capable of being bent to a more convenient shape. Those with limited dexterity or who suffer from tremors might find it useful to have plates and bowls with steep sides or a non-slip base that attaches securely to a table or tray. And for those who may need extra assistance when preparing food, there is an extensive collection of kitchen aids available that take the strain, risk or guesswork out of many everyday chores.
Easy Grip Cutlery
Several different manufacturers make good quality cutlery for people with limited grip strength and dexterity, and there are others who offer special soft handles that can be attached to ordinary cutlery in order to make it more wieldy. Personal taste plays an important part in the choice, of course, but some useful features to consider include the shape and texture of the handle, and the availability of useful extras such as rocker knives and forks with a fixed or adjustable bend - features which may be useful to people with limited strength or range of motion. Some cutlery sets can also be supplemented with other utensils such as vegetable peelers and mashers.
Plate Surrounds and High-Rimmed Crockery
For people who only have the use of one hand, scooping food onto a fork or spoon can be tricky, which is why designers have introduced an array of gadgets that make the task easier. Plate surrounds perform the dual role of providing a surface against which the fork can push, and preventing food from spilling off the plate and onto the table. Plates and bowls with high, steep sides work in a similar way, making it easier to eat independently. In either case, look out for suitably sized products that are stain-resistant and easy to clean. Check, too, whether the chosen system is safe for use with microwaves and/or dishwashers.
For slower eaters, an insulated bowl can be an invaluable way of keeping food warm on the table, but there are other specialised bowls that serve other functions. Some, for example, are fitted with suction cups that keep them firmly adhered to the user's table or tray, and others have an asymmetrical design that makes it easy for the user to scoop out food without spilling.
Food Preparation Aids
For people with restricted movement, tremors or the use of just one hand, preparing food is made considerably easier by food preparation aids that can be used one-handed. The most obvious examples are electric kitchen aids that cut and slice automatically or special clamps and boards that hold fruit and vegetables securely in place for chopping or peeling. In addition, there are many other many ingenious gadgets that hold hot plates, open jars or keep pans safe and secure on the hob. Look for products that are sturdy and easy to use and remember that some of the most effective aids are also some of the simplest and least expensive.