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Custom Tableware Helps Alzheimer's Patients Eat Better

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Sep 2015
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Image: The Eatwell tableware set (Photo courtesy of Eatwell).
Image: The Eatwell tableware set (Photo courtesy of Eatwell).
Unique assistive tableware with a user-centered design helps increase food intake and maintain dignity for Alzheimer's disease (AD) Patients.

The Eatwell (San Francisco, CA, USA) tableware set includes over twenty unique features designed to promote healthier, more dignified nutrition for AD sufferers, as well helping to alleviate caring burdens by both family members and careers by making the process of eating as easy as possible. Features include color contrast between the inside and outside of the bowls, making it easier to distinguish food from the bowl; while the inner color of the bowl is blue (to differentiate from food), the outer colors are red and yellow to help stimulate appetite.

The slanted bottom design of the bowl helps users to gather food on one side without scooping, while the right angle side of the bowl is designed to help users collect food into the spoon more easily, and also prevent food from being accidentally scooped out of the bowl. An alternating spoon curvature is designed to match the curvature of the bowl to pick up the food easier, with one side matching the curvature of the wall, while the other side matches the basin. The handles are designed to fit the natural curve of the hand.

The set also includes two cups; one cup has a rubber base that acts as a stabilizer to prevent it from tipping over, while the other cup has a handle that extends to the tabletop for added support. The handle is also specifically designed to benefit users with arthritis. The set also comes with a tray that has holders for clipping a bib onto the edge to help catch any dropped food, as well as prevent clothing stains. The Eatwell tableware set is an indiegogo-funded campaign launched by designer Sha Yao, whose late grandmother suffered from AD.

“For many families, meals are a time for sharing and reconnecting, and enjoying each other’s company. When the disease affects one member of a family, the mealtime experience can become stressful and challenges are created for both caregivers and their loved ones,” said Sha Yao. “What’s more, once the patients stop eating or have general problems eating enough, their health condition often rapidly worsens. That’s the reason I created Eatwell.”

The Eatwell set won first place at the 2014 Stanford Center on Longevity (CA, USA) Design Challenge, out of 52 teams from 15 countries.

Related Links:

Stanford Center on Longevity

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