Weighted Utensils And Silverware

Hand tremors can make many daily activities difficult. Persons who have tremors may spill food frequently at mealtimes or may find that their handwriting has become illegible. There are simple ways to make life with tremors easier.

Understanding The Source of Tremors

First and most important, the affected person needs to see a doctor and determine exactly what is causing the tremors. Many different medical conditions can cause tremors, and many can be treated with medication. Some conditions that cause tremors are Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, strokes and brain injuries, or simple muscle weakness. The most common type of tremor is Essential Tremor, which occurs in up to 4% of individuals over the age of 40 and becomes more common with advancing age. About half of all cases of essential tremor are genetic and run in families. In the remainder of cases the cause is unknown.

Tools for Tremors

Once the cause of the tremors has been identified and medical treatment has begun if necessary, there are steps that can make daily activities easier. Common tools for tremors include weighted silverware, which can make eating easier and significantly reduce food spillage. Weighted silverware is just what it sounds like: ordinary forks, spoons and knives with weighted handles. The light (up to about half a pound) weight provides a bit of stability and physically limits the hand tremor. Weighted silverware can be purchased at medical-supply stores or ordered from many different companies online. Most doctors’ offices and rehabilitation facilities can provide referral for supply sources. Most purchased weighted utensils are dishwasher-safe. There are also hand weights that help with essential tremors. The weight of the cuff or strap is a form of feedback and may provide some relief but does not completely eliminate the shakiness.

Making Your Own Weighted Silverwares

 It is also possible to make your own weighted silverware, using fishing sinkers and foam pipe insulation or PVC pipe and modeling clay. What you do is make a weighted grip which can be slid over the handle of ordinary utensils. The advantage of making your own weighted grips is that you can vary the weight as needed. To make grips with pipe insulation, cut a length of insulation about 4 inches long and push two or three fishing sinkers into the core. Then slide it over the handle of a spoon or fork. With PVC pipe, again cut a piece about 4 inches long, and pack modeling clay into the pipe, and push the handle of the utensil. Other kitchen utensils, such as spatulas or serving spoons, can be modified this way also. Homemade weighted grips must be removed before the utensils can be washed.

For those who are not so technically inclined, there are similar items for sale. Here are a few recommended weighted utensils and silverware.


Cerebral Palsy Eating Equipment

Feeding oneself is a basic necessity to show independence and freedom from caregivers. However, some people with Cerebral palsy are unable to as the result of damage, injury or malformation to certain areas of the brain.

Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and physical movements. This can hinder the ability to walk, talk and eat. With no known cure for the disease, physical and speech therapists work with Cerebral palsy patients on exercises that develop muscle coordination so they can perform everyday physical activities such as feeding themselves and grabbing and lifting up objects. With the assistance of eating equipment, people with Cerebral palsy can be independently eating.

Utensil Cuffs

Cerebral palsy involves the lack the fine motor control necessary for holding a spoon or fork, making it difficult to self-feed. A utensil cuff wraps around the hand, allowing the person to focus on scooping up food without holding the utensil. Elastic utensil cuffs fit comfortably around the hand and have a pocket that holds utensils. These helpful tools allow people with Cerebral palsy to build control while learning to feed themselves.

Hand Clips

Similar to the cuff, a utensil hand clips slide in place around the hand, keeping utensils in the grasp of people with Cerebral palsy. The hand clips feature a spring action that closes on the hand without pinching or fitting too tight. Caregivers can easily attach small utensils to the clip, allowing people with Cerebral palsy to retrieve foods and feed themselves.

Non Slip Mats

As people with Cerebral palsy practice feeding oneself, they often knock plates, bowls and cups around due to underdeveloped muscle control. Non slip mats hold dishes firmly in place, facilitating the eating process. These non slip mats easily adhere to table tops and high chair trays. They also roll up, making it easy to use Cerebral palsy eating equipment in public places.

Feeding Bibs

Another useful tool in preventing messy eating, feeding bibs allow people with Cerebral palsy to feed themselves without worrying about soiling their clothing. Feeding bibs catch dropped spoonfuls of messy foods, such as soup, yogurt, applesauce and cereal. Some clothing protectors are resistant to stains and water that make it easier to clean and wipe the food off. This lets people with Cerebral palsy practice eating these foods by controlling utensils and bringing food to their mouths.

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