Assistive eating devices are utensils people use when they have difficulty with feeding or drinking independently. These devices are typically used for people with disabilities, but have been used for children or people that have low dexterity. These devices can promote independence during meal times, but in many cases also help a caregiver during meals. "Assistive eating devices can increase self-care…increase self-esteem associated with increased independence, increase safety during meals, and make meal-time better for staff…"
Assistive eating devices Wikipedia
This category includes plates and bowls that will not allow food to fall off or out of the container and will not slide around. Some of these devices are as simple as a clip on guard that attaches to any normal plate or bowl There are many plates that also have a lip on the edge that prevents food from coming off the plate. Other dinnerware are modified or specially made so they do not slide around on the table. Two common ways to keep the plates and bowls on the table are mats and grip bottoms. However, if the individual in question has tremors, then suction bases may be utilized. There are special bowls and plates that have a suction base that will attach to the table. This base will prevent the dinnerware from getting knocked around when the container or table is bumped.
Forks, knives and spoons may need to be adapted in order for people to use them Individuals may struggle with tremors or the movement of opening and closing the hand or lifting the arm for independent feeding. Adapted utensils may be the answer for these individuals. Much like the weighted mugs to help with tremors, weighted utensils can minimize the tremors. These types of utensils may be specially bought, but attachments can also be bought to adapt the current utensils into an assistive device. These attachments can include something to slip over the handle that is weighted or that may be large or made out of foam to enhance grip and prevent the utensil from falling out of the hand. Clips and straps may also be utilized if the individual is unable to hold the handle at all.
Cups and mugs may be adapted or bought to help with daily living. The most common assistive drinking utensil is the straw. This is inexpensive and allows for the user to not need to pick up the cup at all. The same principles for assistive dinnerware may also be utilized for mugs or cups. Non-slip bases are common so they do not slip on the table, while cup holders are used to prevent the cup from being knocked over. In case the cup gets knocked over, no spill lids may be used. Some cups are sold with lids, but there are also lids that can be used for several different types of cups and mugs. Weighted mugs are also common for the individual that suffers with tremors.