As we age, we must learn to adapt to our changing bodies and minds. Even without any cognitive issues, we still find it difficult to do some of the tasks we performed easily just 10 or 20 years ago. Depending on the situation, this can lead to depression in many a senior as they see their independence slowly ebbing away.
Add cognitive and/or physical problems to the scenario, and it just gets worse. Conditions like essential tremor or Parkinson's can make doing simple tasks quite difficult. Tasks such as eating. Whether you're shaking or having trouble with your grip, there are solutions.
Kelly, one of our exceptional in-home caregivers here in Pittsburgh, saw that the elderly man she was caring for was having trouble holding onto his fork. So she fashioned her own adaptive silverware for him by wrapping a napkin around the utensil, offering a wider grip.
Stores that sell assistive eating utensils offer weighted, built up, or angled utensils. Why is this important? To me, I believe it's all part of creating an atmosphere of dignity. After all, the elderly haven't had anyone else feed them since they were infants. Then, as toddlers, they often had silverware of their own -- adapted to be easy to use for their little hands. These adaptive utensils fostered independence, which is exactly what they can do for elderly folks who simply don't want to be fed by someone else. Dignity, right?
There are a variety of online resources selling adaptive utensils, but you can also find a nice selection at local and chain drugstores and medical supply stores. While you're looking at the assistive flatware, you might also want to look into an adaptive cuff, which is beneficial for those who simply cannot hold a spoon or fork even when they're weighted, built up, or angled.
When it comes to maintaining one's independence and dignity, being able to feed oneself is key. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of adaptability.
If you'd like additional guidance, please call us at 412.415.3168. We're Dignity Home Care Professionals, where kindness matters!