You may take your ability to eat independently for granted, but your loved one may be wishing to have this ability again. Being self-reliant can boost an elderly person's mood and confidence. The following are 2 tips to help you pick out the best eating aids that may give your elderly loved one the freedom to eat on his or her own.
1. Grip Matters
Growing older is usually associated with a loss of strength, so make sure that the utensils you choose have grip. Regular utensils are too light and the surface is usually too smooth. This could make it easy for an elderly person to lose grip.
Grip comes in many forms, so consider some of the following options:
- Look for thick utensils with regular grip
- Look for eating aids with flexible utensils that can be molded around a hand. This is especially helpful for elderly people suffering from arthritis or similar ailments.
- Another option for those who have no finger mobility is a wristband support with a palmar swivel clip. Your elderly person will only need to clip his or her spoon on the wristband right under his or her palm.
- Remember that you can put a foam tubing around a utensil while you wait to purchase high-quality utensils. This is a temporary fix, but it will give the utensils grip for your elderly person to handle better.
Remember to ask your loved one what he or she needs, to optimize the utensils you are purchasing.
2. Think About Eating-Time
It may take your elderly loved one a longer time to eat, due to mobility or other issues. This might seem like a bad thing, but taking a long time to eat is actually great for his or her digestion. Studies have shown that eating slowly gives your body a chance to absorb all the nutrients properly. Your elderly person should also have better digestion because chewing his or her food longer should make it easier for the stomach to digest the meal.
But the problem with eating food too slowly is that the food might get cold. You can solve this issue by simply purchasing a stay-warm bowl. These bowls usually have a containment area on the outside perimeter to hold hot water. The hot water keeps the food warm within the bowl.
As you can see, giving your elderly an opportunity to eat independently is possible, as long as you choose the right aids from a company like YOUCAN TOOCAN, Inc.