Every day we use our hands to eat and drink without giving it much thought. However, if you have arthritis, mobility issues, or other chronic or cognitive conditions, it can be extremely difficult to just pick up a cup of coffee or use a spoon to eat your favorite soup. The good news is that there are many modified utensils and other aids available to help make eating and drinking easier for aging adults. We explored several sources to provide the most common types of products and where to get them.
Eating and Drinking Aids for Aging Adults
The following categories are the most common types of eating and drinking aids for aging adults who have arthritis, weakened muscles, mobility limitations, and other chronic conditions. Each of the items listed below includes a link to samples on Amazon.com for your convenience.
Being able to use spoons, forks, and knives is a big part of feeling independent. There are several companies that provide adaptive cutlery products to help those with grip issues, restricted movement and any other limitations. These products include:
• Lightweight utensils (example)
• Weighted utensils for balance (example)
• Angled utensils (example)
• Gripped utensils with a band that fits around your palm (example)
• Bendable utensils (example)
Plates and Bowls
Spill free plates and bowls can help make dining much easier. Several types of these products exist, including bowls and plates that:
If you need something to provide more stability, create a longer reach, or provide hands-free drinking – the types of products that are available today, include:
Trays allow you to comfortably eat anywhere, and can also assist with carrying and heating food. Some of the products available include:
If prescribed by a specialist, there are different types of systems or more extensive support for eating. You should discuss directly with your physician since these may be prescription-based. Some examples include:
• Manually operated eating devices
• Electrically operated devices
• Forearm support
When doing your research, you need to understand exactly what your loved one needs assistance with. Read the reviews of each product and company before purchasing anything. The cost for each of the products listed above will range from $5 to over $100 depending on the complexity of the device.
Give your aging loved one the opportunity to eat and drink independently. You can do this by finding the right product(s) to help make eating and drinking comfortable and easy again.