Today I'd like to share information on eating tools designed to give independence to people with hand tremor, a common symptom of Parkinson's Disease.
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Following on from last week’s blog on Parkinson’s Awareness Month, this subject is worthy of a Choice Magazine article as in recent years, a number of new options have come to the market.
Gyenno Tremor Bravo Twist
Some like the Gyenno Tremor Bravo Twist (retailing at A$430) are expensive and involve electronics.
In researching this article, it clear that you need to do your research and seek product reviews on purchasing sites such as Amazon and, ideally, try before you buy and go to a retail outlet that sells the product.
One product, released in November 2019, has been well received in Amazon reviews and reviews posted by independent reviewers and users of the tool. It is called the ELISpoon developed by the company, Eli Innovation.
Headquartered in Israel, the company was founded by the parents of a child born with severe cerebral palsy. As their website attests, the company’s engineers and designers “create products providing more autonomy, comfort and safety in the various activities that punctuate everyday life”.
Using counter weights and rotation axes, ELISpoon remains steady and level, no matter what hand or arm motions the user makes while eating. Further attributes include: its affordability (around $A150); no batteries or electronics; ease of cleaning as it can be placed in the sink or dishwasher; and its light weight. The ELISpoon is available in a tablespoon and teaspoon size.
Liftware Steady is a well-received product on the electronic front. First released in 2013, the cutlery tool was developed by a group of scientists and engineers. Motivated by the desire to improve the quality of life and independence of friends and family with hand tremor and limited hand and arm mobility, this group founded the company, Liftware, in 2012. Liftware joined Google Life Sciences in 2014, and the company is now known as Verily.
Engineered and designed in San Francisco, the Liftware Steady cutlery handle electronically stabilises so the attached utensil shakes 70%* less than your hand. This percentage is derived from a peer-reviewed clinical study.
As their website explains, “the stabilising handle contains sensors that detect hand motion and a small onboard computer that distinguishes unwanted tremor from the intended movement of the hand. To stabilise the utensil, the computer directs two motors in the handle to move the utensil attachment in the opposite direction of any detected tremor.”
Liftware Steady retails at around A$260 though currently it can only be purchased in the US.
The progress in the engineering of these tools is incredible. It would be good to see products, like the Liftware Steady, being made available for purchase in Australia and in retail outlets to allow purchasers to try before buying.
Please note that the information in this blog does not form a product recommendation. You are encouraged to undertake your own investigations when considering purchasing any of the products mentioned.
For guidance on caring for your loved one who lives with Parkinson’s, please feel free to call me, Danielle Robertson, for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.