Eating and drinking are tasks most people performed daily effortlessly! It never occurs to us that one day these routine activities may become extremely difficult to carry out. Many people are already living this reality. Did you know that the elderly and people with special disabilities such as Arthritis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or neurological disorders related to Strokes, Cerebral Palsy, a brain or spinal cord injury often struggle with eating and drinking every day? Elderly people experiencing these difficulties are at risk of not getting the necessary nutrients needed to stay healthy, which leads to unintentional weight loss and other problems.
Reasons for Loss of Appetite for Elderly Seniors
There are several reasons elderly seniors lose their appetite. The most common reasons are:
- Reduction in physical and social activities like exercising and interacting with other people.
- Side effects of certain medications.
- Dental problems related to losing their teeth which causes difficulty chewing
- The natural process of aging – hormonal changes in the body, vision changes, and essential hand tremors or shaky hands due to simply growing older
Reasons for loss of appetite due to neurological disorders
People with neurological disorders, which include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or Dementia, or people with cerebral palsy, recovering from a stroke, brain or spinal cord injuries, and those living with some type of arthritis also may reduce their intake of food. A few common reasons include:
- Uncontrollable shaking hands for people with Parkinson’s or essential hand tremors cannot hold the spoon, fork, or cup steady to eat, drink or cook.
- Vision and memory problems in people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia – According to SeniorLink, people with these disorders have problems with depth perception and recognizing colors, making it difficult for them to distinguish the difference between food on the plate and the plate itself. When this happens, they stop eating.
- Individuals recovering from a stroke, brain, or spinal cord injury may have difficulty swallowing or holding their eating utensils.
- Arthritis suffers, and people with cerebral palsy may have trouble holding a regular spoon or fork due to grasping difficulties, limited hand and finger dexterity, or limited range of motion.
Regain Independence with These Top 10 Adaptive Eating and Drinking Aids
Elderly seniors and people living with these life-changing conditions lose their ability to feed themselves. They have to rely on family members or caregivers to help them eat and drink. The good news is, people living with these conditions can regain their independence and self-reliance with these top 10 adaptive eating and drinking aids!
KEatlery Weighted Eating Utensils for Parkinson’s and Essential Tremors
These weighted eating utensils come with a weighted fork, spoon, knife, and soup spoon designed to look like regular utensils. The weight of the utensil holds the hand steady when eating, stirring, or cutting food. Each utensil features finger indentations for a comfortable, ergonomic grip and the soup spoon has a deeper bowl to eliminate spills. This weighted utensil set is ideal for people living with Parkinson’s, Essential Tremors, or with trembling hands due to aging. Use them for dining at home, or take them with you for dining out! They’re stainless steel and dishwasher safe!
Kinsman KEatlery Weighted Utensils, Set of 4 Includes Knife, Fork, Teaspoon and Soup Spoon
- Highly polished 18.0 stainless steel
- Each utensil weighs approximately 7.2 ounces
- Dishwasher safe.
- Handle has finger indentation to provide a comfortable, ergonomic grasp.
- Includes Fork, Knife, Teaspoon, and Soup Spoon.
Weighted 8 oz. Insulated Drinking Mug with No-Spill Lid
This weighted Insulated Mug holds 8 fluid ounces of either hot or cold liquids. It’s a sturdy hard plastic that comes with a non-spill lid that closes tightly to prevent accidental spills. Users with Parkinson’s, shaking, or essential hand tremors are sure to enjoy having their favorite beverage with a steady hand!
Kinsman Enterprises 16042 Weighted Cup with No Spill Lid, 8 oz, Blue
- With non spill lid
- 8 oz. capacity
- Blues color
Soft Built-Up Foam Handled Eating Utensils for Arthritis
Eating Utensils with Soft Built-Up Foam Handles are easier to grasp for those with arthritis or limited hand dexterity. The utensil part of these arthritis eating aids is stainless steel, and the removable foam part is easy to hold for people having trouble or pain bending their fingers. The overall measurement of the foam handle is approximately 1-1/2 inches. They have a plastic inner handle that measures approximately 5/8 of an inch. Cleaning is easy also. Simply remove the foam handle and place the utensil in your dishwasher.
Kinsman Enterprises, Inc. (n) Built-Up Soft Handle Utensil Set/4
Swivel Spoon or Fork with Built-Up Handle for Parkinson’s and Hand Tremors
The Swivel Spoon or Fork Eating Utensils feature a mechanism uniquely designed to keep the bowl of the spoon and the fork’s tines steady when held at any angle. It’s perfect for people with shaky hands or hand-tremors. Another great feature is the Built-up handle. This handle, made of smooth, soft nylon material, is easy and comfortable to hold.
Sammons Preston Plastic Handle Swivel Soup Spoon, Adaptive Utensils, 6.5" Long
- Eating assistance soup spoon with special swivel design keeps food on the stainless steel utensil when turned at any angle
- Ideal for people with limited or no muscle control and shaking hands, including the elderly, handicapped, and disabled, not appropriate for someone with severe tremors
- 6.5" long swivel soup spoon with a notch in handle for better holding position
- Prevents shaky hands from affecting ability to eat independently, making mealtime easier for those with limited wrist and arm movement, weak grip, limited mobility, and touble with functional movement
- Dishwasher safe up to 180º, BPA and phthalates, non-latex reusable plastic spork
Scooper Plate with High Rim and Suction Cup Base
With its’ unique features, the Scooper Plate is a must-have for anyone with a limited range of motion, including elderly seniors or children. The high rim, along with the reverse curve on one side, helps users scoop food onto their eating utensil without spilling, while the suction cup base keeps the plate from sliding off the table. It’s dishwasher safe and affordable!
Maddak SP Ableware Scooper Plate with Suction Cup Base , Blue - 745350012
- Suction cup base keeps the plate in place and reduces spilling accidents
- Measures 6 3/4 inches in diameter
- Plate is dishwasher safe
- Molded of heat-resistant plastic
- Comes with a one year limited warranty
Scooper Bowl with Suction Cup Base
The Scooper Bowl with Suction Cup Base is similar to the Scooper Plate. It features the same reverse curve on one side and the non-skid suction cup base at the bottom. The reverse curve allows users to scoop their food onto their utensil and the rubber suction base prevents the bowl from sliding. It is also dishwasher safe.
Maddak Ableware Scooper Bowl with Suction Cup Base, Blue
$10.00 in stock
- Suction cup base keeps the bowl in place and reduces spilling accidents
- Measures 4 1/2 inches in diameter
- Bowl is dishwasher safe
- Molded of heat-resistant plastic
- Comes with a one year limited warranty
PROVALE Two Handle Regulating Drinking Cup for Dysphagia
People with dysphagia, a condition where swallowing is very difficult, will find these two handle regulating cups essential! It’s designed to deliver a fixed amount of liquid food with every sip. This drinking cup is perfect for people recovering from a stroke or other neurological conditions with swallowing difficulties. The cup’s wide base eliminates accidental spills along with a securely attachable lid. Available in a 5 cc or a 10 cc liquid capacity. Dishwasher safe.
PROVALE Regulating Drinking Cup, For Individuals Who Suffer from Swallowing Disorders Such as Dysphagia, Dispenses 5cc of Liquid Each time the Cup is Put Down & Lifted, Without the Use of Thickeners
$37.89 in stock
- Limited flow cup for the delivery of thin liquids, indicated for patients who suffer from Dysphagia
- Delivers a fixed amount of thin liquids, small swallows with every normal drinking motion
- Each drinking motion delivers 5cc or 1 teaspoons of think liquid
- Broad base to minimize tipping and spilling
- Easy to clean and dishwasher safe, no valves or tubes to clean
Redware Deluxe 5-Piece Dinnerware Set For People Living With Alzheimer’s
According to the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Association, as many as 50 million people live with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Alzheimer’s is a deteriorating brain disorder that causes memory loss and is the most common form of Dementia. Dementia, on the other hand, is not a disease but a term used to describe a multitude of symptoms related to memory loss. People living with these disorders experience memory loss of time, places, important events, and even family members. They also experience confusion and struggle with completing daily living tasks like combing their hair, brushing their teeth, and dressing.
Another common symptom involves their vision. Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients have problems with depth perception and recognizing colors. This is especially a problem when it comes to mealtimes. It’s difficult for patients with these disorders to tell the difference between light-colored food and the plate the food is placed on. Therefore, they don’t eat like they should, resulting in significant weight loss. The best way to fix this problem is to serve the patient’s food in plates and cups with a high contrast color like the dinnerware set below:
Deluxe 5-piece Redware Dining Set, especially for Alzheimer's Patients
- Partitioned Scoop Dish with Lid, Patented Inner Lip Plate, Drinking Cup, Built-Up Fork & Spoon
- 60 percent of Alzheimer’s patients have decreased visual capacity, 40 percent experience weight loss
- Human eye has more receptors to see red than to see any other color
- Research shows: High-contrast tableware increased eating and drinking
- All items are BPA Free
Partitioned Scoop Plate with Lid
The Partitioned Scoop Plate is ideal for bedridden people in a wheelchair or experiencing limited hand mobility. The high-raised sides enable users to scoop food onto their adaptive spoon or fork with ease, and the spill-proof lid allows caregivers to carry food to bedridden patients safely. Another great feature is the three compartments designed to keep foods separated and for storing in the refrigerator. It’s available in Red for Alzheimer’s patients and Sandstone. It comes with a removable lid for storing.
Partitioned Scoop Dish with Lid - Red
- 12.75" x 12" x 2"
U-Bend It Adaptive Eating Utensils
The U-Bend It Eating Utensils are great for people with limited range of motion, Arthritis, and grasping difficulties. It features a large, built-up handle and twistable shaft for bending to either the left or right angles. Other features include a contoured shape handle for easy grasping, stainless steel bowl for the spoon, and stainless steel tines for the fork. Dishwasher Safe!
Maddak U-Bend It Utensils, Fork
- Bendable fork for individuals with upper extremity weakness, arthritis, or reduced range of motion
- Twist in shaft for ease of bending to either side at any angle
- Built-up handles for secure grasp
- Contoured shape for ease of holding and using
- Stainless steel for durability
There are other useful eating devices for elderly seniors. Look for a future post showcasing other helpful eating and drinking adaptive devices soon.