Best Adaptive Utensils For Seniors

Are you looking for the best adaptive utensils for yourself or a loved one with a movement disorder? Conditions like Parkinsons, Ataxia, Chorea, among others, can make it hard to lead a normal life. Even simple tasks like eating become almost impossible.

Having the right eating utensil can make all the difference. Not only for basic eating, but for overall mental health. Research from the Geriatric Dietician discusses the importance of ensuring those with dementia and other diseases get proper nutrition. Having the right utensil can play a large roll in this.

Top Adaptive Utensil For Seniors

Here is a look at adaptive utensils including pros and cons.

1. Pulse Brands 4-Piece Kitchen Set

Pulse Brands 4-Piece Kitchen Set
  • Prevents shaky hands from affecting the ability to eat independently, making mealtime easier for those with limited grip, weak hands and weak wrists, limited mobility, and trouble with functional movement.
  • Non-Slip, Wide Grip: Each of our weighted adaptive utensils features a wider ribbed handle with raised, textured grips to improve control and dexterity.
  • 4-Piece Set: Every order comes with four eating utensils, including a fork, knife, dinner spoon and a soup spoon. A very helpful set of built up utensils that cover a wide range of meals.

This 4-piece set is designed for those who have trouble holding on properly to normal cutlery. Whether you have weak wrists, limited mobility, or trouble with functional movement, this set is for you.

It consists of a dinner spoon, soup spoon, fork, and knife. All feature a wide ribbed handle with raised, textured grips to help with maintaining a firm hold on it. 

The grips are made of food-grade silicone. It is soft, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. Each utensil is made out of high-quality stainless steel for durability and hygiene.

Each utensil weighs about 3 ounces. The weight is more for control, so they are not as heavy as some people would expect.

The Pulse Brands 4-Piece kitchen set is perfect for those with slight tremors. The large soft grips help the patient to maintain a firm grip on the utensils and prevent spilling. Seniors and those with Alzheimer’s will love them because they let them eat independently once again.

Pros

● Wide non-slip grip.
● Machine washable.
● Durable stainless steel material.
● Money-back guarantee.
● Affordable.

Cons 

● Not heavily weighted, so they may not work for those with serious tremors.
● They are short, and the spoon needs to be deeper.

Verdict

For seniors and people suffering from conditions like Alzheimer’s, the Adaptive Utensils 4-piece set from Pulse Brands is the best and most affordable option. It is not as heavy as you would expect, but it is very stable and eliminates the need for assisted feeding. 

2. BUNMO Weighted Utensils for Tremors and Parkinson’s Patients

BUNMO Weighted Utensils for Tremors and Parkinson’s Patients
  • Discrete weighted: Looks jut like regular premium silverware. Essential for dignity and independence
  • Three-piece set: This Parkinsons silverware set includes a fork, knife, and table spoon
  • Premium stainless steel: Our Weighted Silverware is the highest quality rustproof stainless steel

BUNMO Weighted Utensils Set is a set of three extra-heavy cutlery pieces including a spoon, knife, and fork. They look just like normal cutlery but have been weighted so that each of them weighs more than 7 oz.

Seniors and those suffering from conditions like tremors and Parkinson’s would like to retain as much dignity as is possible. They might shun other cutlery that draws undue attention to them.

You certainly should not blame them for feeling that way, which is why getting them a normal-looking adaptive set like the BUNMO goes a long way to helping them maintain their sense of dignity. 

The weighted utensils help to dampen even high amplitude tremors. The weight stabilizes them so that they can eat their food almost normally. 

With its beautifully crafted design, the BUNMO set of cutlery helps seniors to regain confidence and independence as far as eating is concerned. They’re made of stainless steel for durability and are easy to clean.

The set of three is also affordable compared to similar products. Get the BUNMO for patients with tremors, Parkinson’s, Ataxia, among other ailments that cause shaking hands.

Pros 

● They look like ordinary utensils.
● Very heavy, increasing stability.
● Easy clean.
● Affordable.
● Dishwasher safe.
● Perfect for any meal, including soups.

Cons 

● They’re slick and slippery, which could be a challenge for some.
● They are large in addition to being heavy. Some people find it hard to use them.

Verdict

The BUNMO Weighted Utensils is the perfect weighted set for those suffering from tremors, Parkinson’s, or those that have difficulty with their hands holding utensils.

3. Gyenno Parkinson Spoon for Hand Tremors

GYENNO Parkinson Spoon for hand tremo, 3.9 x 1 x 1.2 inches, White
  • GYENNO steady Spoon electronically stabilizes so the attached utensil shakes 85% less than your hand. Worry less about spilling and focus on enjoying your meal.
  • GYENNO portable tableware includes two parts: a stabilizing handle and a utensil attachment. Switch on and off automatically, automatically turn to sleeping mode when you stop using.
  • GYENNO tremor Spoon has ergonomic design which adapted to the general Hands Use habit, total weight 130g, easy to hold and to prevent from slippery.

Gyenno Parkinson’s Spoon from LiftWare is an electronically enhanced spoon designed specifically for those with long-amplitude tremors. These could be about 2.4 inches, which no other cutlery can assist.

The electronics in the Gyenno work by sensing every movement then determining if it was voluntary or not. If it isn’t, they generate an equal opposite force to counteract it.

The spoon has a rechargeable battery to power it. You get its unique charging box and cable in the package, and it also has an LED indicator for battery status and an On/Off button.

When you buy it, you only get the spoon attachment. However, you can purchase a separate fork head which you can swap out quite easily as you please.

Pros

● Electronically compensated spoon eliminates up to 85% of shaking.
● Premium design.
● The head is removable for cleaning and swapping with a fork.
● Very heavy, which also helps to compensate.
● Battery, charger, and manual included.

Cons 

● The spoon is shallow and small. 
● It is very expensive.

Verdict

The concept behind the Gyenno Spoon has already been proven to work with severe shakes and tremors. However, the technology involved makes it the most expensive adaptive spoon on the market. It could do with a few improvements, but for now, you will find it a wonderful assist to anyone with severe Parkinson’s. Buy it here from Amazon.

4. Vive Foam Tubing – Utensil Padding Grips

Vive Foam Tubing - Utensil Padding Grips
  • WIDE GRIP FOR GREATER CONTROL: Foam tubing provides a wider grip for greater control and more secure grip on everyday objects. Perfect for pens, silverware, toothbrushes and more, the tubing builds up the utensil handles to create a soft, comfortable grip for those needing assistance such as individuals with ALS, Parkinson's Disease, Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, neuropathy, and multiple sclerosis.
  • SOFT NON-SLIP GRIP: High-density foam tubing is comfortably soft. The non-slip foam stays securely in place on the tool or utensil and does not easily slide from the hand. Foam will not absorb odors from hands or food and is easily washed by hand or in the dishwasher.
  • CUT TO CUSTOM LENGTH: Foam tubing grips come in 12” lengths allowing each tube to conveniently cover multiple objects. Easily cut with scissors, simply mark tubing at the desired length for each object.

The Vive padding grips are a pack of 9 cylindrical foam tubes that are designed to be attached to the usual utensils around the home to make them friendly to seniors or those with fine motor skills problems.

You can attach them not only to eating utensils but also to other everyday things like pens, toothbrushes, and combs

The Vive Foam Tubing adds a soft, wide grip to every utensil to which you fix them. Not only are they perfect for seniors, but can also be used by those with ALS, tremors, Parkinson’s, and other conditions

Each of the tubes is 12″ in length, allowing you to cut them to fit any kind of object. The foam material does not absorb odors from food or hands and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

The tubes are also color-coded with different diameters to suit different utensils. The blue ones are 1.9cm wide for knives, the red ones 0.95 cm for spoons and forks, and the smallest are 0.6cmfor pens, pencils, or toothbrushes

You’re bound to love these cheap but highly functional Vive tubes. In the rare case that you don’t, you have a 60-day window to return them for a full refund.

Pros

● You can cut them to length to suit every utensil.
● They’re cheap. 
● Hygienic and easy to clean.
● The bright colors help to improve appetite, especially for patients with Alzheimer’s.
● They’re lightweight and offer a perfect wide and non-slip grip.

Cons

● Most utensils have an uneven handle size, so you might need to buy new ones on which the tubes can fit.
● You have to buy the full pack, instead of specific sizes as you might wish.

Verdict

These are very unique and useful tubes for all kinds of movement disorders. Their versatility is their greatest asset because they are not limited to utensils only but can be used for other things around the house.

5. OXO Easy Grip Flatware Set

3 Piece Super Easy Grip Flatware Set - Bendable Built Up Utensils - Fork, Knife, and Spoon (Standard)
  • ERGONOMIC ADAPTIVE DESIGN FOR A STEADY, EASY GRIP – This set of adaptive kitchen utensils for adults are wider with a non-weighted design to support those with hand tremors, Parkinson’s, or arthritis
  • BUILT UP SUPER GRIP – Each of our non-weighted adaptive utensils features a wider ribbed handle with raised, textured grips to improve dexterity and control.
  • BENDABLE INNOVATIVE DESIGN - The forks and spoons have a special twist built into the metal shaft that allows them to be twisted to any angle, for either left or right-handed use

Oxo developed a patented grip technology that has changed how people with fine motor skills challenges eat, for the better. The Oxo easy-grip flatware set consists of a knife, a spoon and a fork for use with any type of food.

The 1 ⅜ inch wide handle consists of soft, latex-free material with rubber ribbing to maximize grip and minimize shaking. The fork and spoon feature a special twist built into the metal shaft that allows you to twist them either to the right or left.

This unique feature makes the Oxo perfect for all types of users. You can adapt them to any angle to suit those with limited hand-mouth reach, such as seniors with arthritis.

The knife is serrated but dull, which means that it will easily cut through cooked meat but poses little danger to the user. All three are non-weighted but still offer great stability to users with various kinds of mobility problems.

The Oxo set is fully dishwasher safe, and can also be cleaned in institutional machines.

Pros

● Patented grip technology for maximum stability.
● You can twist the spoon and fork to angle them for those with limited reach.
● Durable and well built.
● The fork and knife are of normal size and weight.
● Safe for dishwashers.

Cons

● The knife needs redesigning to make it more ergonomic.
● The spoon is larger than standard ones.

Verdict 

The Oxo EasyGrip Flatware Set is one of the best overall for a wide range of movement impairments. Its innovative design and versatility is one of a kind. Despite the high price, it gives you exceptional value for money.

6. Power of Red Scoop Dish For Dementia and Alzheimers

Essential Medical Supply Power of Red Scoop Dish for Alzheimers and Dementia
  • Designed for users with Alzheimer's and Dementia
  • Rim and reverse curve aid in scooping food onto utensils
  • Includes suction base to prevent sliding

For people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, color and contrast have been shown to play a big role in how they function. The Essential Medical Supply table setting consists of red cutlery which helps to increase eating in those with Alzheimer’s.

Every piece of cutlery in the set is uniquely adapted to suit various special needs. To begin with, there is a scoop bowl and dish. These are both oval-shaped red utensils that help to prevent spilling even with shaky hands

There is also a bendable spoon and fork. That way, you can twist them to the right, left, or any other angle to assist those with limited reach.

The nose-cut cup also helps in the same manner. With a portion of its side removed, it allows a person to drink by simply tilting the cup without having to bend their necks. A rocking knife helps them to make accurate cuts without risk of injury to themselves.

Pros

● Full dinner set of adaptable utensils.
● Each piece is uniquely adapted to suit various needs.
● All pieces are colored red to appeal to dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
● Lightweight; the full set weighs only 1.3 pounds. 
● Affordable. 
● The cutlery has wide soft grips for those with limited motor skills.

Cons 

● Made of light plastic, so they’re not very durable.
● The cup is not very helpful as it is too small.

Verdict

The Essential Medical Supplies Red dinner set is a great option for seniors, especially those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s in addition to motor difficulties. Each piece is uniquely adapted to its job.

7. EazyHold Silicone Universal Cuff

EazyHold Blue Silicone Universal Cuff, Assistive Hand Grip Holder for Special Needs, Cerebral Palsy, Handicap, Pediatric Mobility Daily Living Aid, Therapy Equipment with Adaptive Handles 2-Pack 5.25"
  • UNIVERSAL CUFF - Fits medium hands and medium objects such as Marker, Toothbrush, Hair Brush, Toys and Tools, Screw Drivers, Paint Brushes, Rollers, Wrenches, Pliers, Cooking Utensils, Daily Living Mobility Aid, Silicone Assistive Device.
  • EXTRA SENSORY FIT - Made of soft stretchy silicone that securely grips against the skin and does not need to be tight on the hand or limb to support the object, feel it's weight, vibration, temperature and texture.
  • PREMIUM MATERIALS - Blue EazyHold is made with highly durable and flexible silicone, latex-free, a food-grade non-BPA material which is 100% skin-friendly and easy to clean!

EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aids is a set of soft stretchy bands that can be fitted to utensils, pens, toothbrushes, and almost any other small object to help increase mobility.

These bands are designed for those with limited mobility conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, among others.

They are unique because they come in many different sizes and colors for infants, kids, teens, and adults. You can order the relevant pack to suit your needs.

The bands come in the design of universal cuffs that are first slipped into the handle of the target object. The user then fits the cuff around their hand to secure the object tight against the skin. It makes using them responsive and intuitive, more so than with any other brand on the market. 

Soft silicone is used which is friendly to the skin, is easy to clean, and doesn’t absorb dirt or odors. It also gives maximum grip as needed. It is stretchy enough to accommodate various hand sizes on different utensils.

The straps are easy to use and can be thrown into the dishwasher basket or autoclave if need be. They can also withstand repeated use and cleaning with disinfectant.

Pros

● Highly versatile, can be used for almost any task.
● You can order for any age group, including children with autism.
● Non-toxic and friendly to the skin.
● Soft and stretchy for a comfortable grip.
● Durable. 
● Very easy to clean and maintain.

Cons 

● They may not work for those with larger hands.
● They need a person with a normal motor ability to put them on.

Verdict

Those with debilitating conditions such as autism or cerebral palsy often have a hard time with their limbs. The Eazy Hold adaptive aids help with that problem is a simple innovative way. 

Not only are they great for adapting to eating utensils, but they can be used for other things, too.

8. Soft Foam Curved Utensils

Soft Foam Curved Utensils
  • Right-handed spoon is made from high quality stainless steel and attached to a removable 1.25” diameter black, built-up, closed cell foam handle
  • Easy to clean; utensil is dishwasher safe up to 180 degrees; must wash the foam handle by hand
  • Offset spoons are perfect for individuals with limited wrist or hand range of motion such as arthritis, hand tremors, Parkinson’s, carpal tunnel, or dexterity issues

The Comfort Grip Curved set of 3 is the best when it comes to curved adapted eating utensils. They are designed for those who have very limited mobility and reach, i.e, from hand to mouth.

For the people who have previously been unable to feed themselves, this set is designed to offer them the solid assistance they need. 

The set consists of a knife, spoon, and fork all oriented either to the left or right. The tough stainless steel metal used means that you cannot bend them beyond their shape, so you should make sure to order the right orientation.

Each utensil features a ⅞ inch diameter handle to improve grip and provide stability. The fingertips are molded to offer a natural feel and are slightly weighted for shaky hands.

Made from latex-free material, this set is completely safe foruse by seniors and invalids. However, they aren’t meant for institutional dishwashers. You can throw them into the top shelf of your home dishwasher though.

Pros

● Durable stainless steel.
● Latex-free, safe for use.
● Available in both left and right orientations.
● Wide padded grips for maximum stability.

Cons 

● They aren’t sturdy enough for institutional washing machines.

Verdict

For invalids with mobility challenges especially at the upper extremity, these are the best angled eating utensils. They have a large comfortable grip and are very durable. 

Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Adaptive Utensils

When you or a loved one starts to experience the malign effects of old age, a lot of things can change. One of the areas that are hit hardest is fine motor skills. It becomes difficult to coordinate movement, and it can even get painful to move at all.

Most of the time, it is because of medical conditions like arthritis. Sometimes these ailments strike earlier in life, such as when kids get autism. Either way, these people need all the help they can get to lead as normal a life as possible. The best adaptive eating utensils help them to do that.

Adaptive utensils come in many forms, and it should not be difficult to select the best one to fit your case. Usually, your doctor will already have recommended a few. If not, here is what you should be looking for.

1. Use

A lot of conditions causes shaking, lack of coordination, decreased flexibility, among other kinds of problems. 

Weighted cutlery usually helps with mild shakes from Parkinson’s and Ataxia.  For severe shaking, you might have to go for the electronically enhanced ones.

Angled cutlery help for those with severely limited mobility, especially that caused by arthritis. Straps and removable foam grips are versatile and can be used for almost everything

2. Handle

A good adaptive utensil set should have a wide, non-slip handle. Normal cutlery is slippery and has a small surface area, which makes it hard to use.

Adaptive forks and spoons should have thick handles that are easier to grip. Silicone is a good material for these because it is soft and doesn’t absorb odors. Rubber also works great.

3. Durability

People with mobility problems are usually not the most careful. You can expect a few drops now and then. The material needs to be tough enough to withstand that.

For the sake of cleaning, especially if they’re going to be used in an institution, the utensils must be suitable for dishwashers.

4. Design

Some adaptive utensils retain a normal look, while others are very unique. For those users who feel self-conscious about their condition, it is best to go for those that look natural.

5. Ease of use

You need to think about how easy or complicated the utensil will be. While some are straightforward, others take a bit of a learning curve. That is especially true of angled spoons and forks, as well as the electronic Gyenno adaptive spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do weighted utensils work?

Weighted utensils work by simple physics. The weight of the utensils prevents the hand from shaking. Even when it does, the intensity (up and down displacement) is minimized.

2. How much do weighted utensils weigh?

A good weighted adaptive spoon or fork should weigh about ounces. This helps to dampen the shaking of the hand and make it more stable.

3. What is adaptive cutlery?

Adaptive forks, spoons, knives, and other eating utensils are collectively referred to as adaptive cutlery. They are each designed to help alleviate a specific problem related to the dynamics involved in eating. That can be as simple as having a unique color to improve appetite.

4. How do adaptive eating devices work?

Adaptive utensils reduce the effort needed to move food from the plate to the mouth. They can do that by helping to keep the food on the plate or spoon, preventing food spillage, or just by stimulating reluctant patients to eat.

5. What is a swivel spoon used for?

The swivel spoon is a specially designed adaptive spoon that has a movable joint. It helps food stay on it even in the case of severe shaking, and is mostly used by those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Summary

For those with mobility disorders, something as small as being able to feed themselves can mean all the difference.

Using an adaptive utensils is a powerful tool to ensure your loved one is getting the proper nutrition. Plus it is an amazing way to encourage mobility.

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