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Parkinson’s disease causes motor symptoms that can make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks, including eating and drinking. Specially designed utensils, plates, and cups can be easier for people with motor difficulties to use. These items may help those living with Parkinson’s disease maintain their independence.
- Best with weighted handles: BunMo Weighted Utensils
- Best non-weighted: Special Supplies Adaptive Utensils
- Best movement detection: GYENNO Parkinson Spoon and Fork
- Best removable cuff: Adaptive Utensils Universal Cuffs
- Best adaptable foam: Vive Foam Tubing
- Best angle-changing: Mars Wellness 3 Piece Easy Grip Flatware Set
- Best computerized: Liftware Steady
- Best sloped scooping aid: Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate
- Best for spill prevention: Providence Spillproof Independence Two Handle Plastic Mug
Approximately 1 million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms of this condition may include:
- slowness of movement
- poor balance and coordination
Some companies make specific utensils, including forks, knives, and spoons, for individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, uniquely designed bowls and cups are available.
Some of the eating utensils are weighted, which can help stop tremors. Other products have an attached handle or strap to stabilize the hand at mealtimes and allow for a better grip. These utensils can help a person maintain independence in their life.
Other items that may make mealtimes easier for people with Parkinson’s disease include bowls and plates that have handles, lids, and higher sides to aid scooping and prevent spills.
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Below, we look at some utensils that a person with Parkinson’s disease may wish to consider trying.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best with weighted handles
This product resembles a regular utensil set. However, the weighted handles may help a person with tremors by stopping their hands from shaking.
The utensils are made of rustproof stainless steel, and they are dishwasher-safe. Additionally, the soup spoon is deeper than a standard version to prevent spills.
Each utensil weighs a minimum of 7 ounces (oz), and the set includes a knife, fork, soup spoon, and tablespoon. The set comes with a travel bag.
BunMo Weighted Utensils are available to purchase online for about $35.
This five-piece utensil set is not weighted, but the design includes a wide, nonslip, ribbed handle to improve ease of grip. The set contains a fork, knife, curved knife, dinner spoon, and soup spoon.
The handles are made from food-grade safe silicone, while the utensils come in dishwasher-safe stainless steel. The utensil set is available in a choice of colors.
The company claims that these utensils may also be suitable for those with arthritis or low grip strength.
Special Supplies Adaptive Utensils are available to purchase online for about $15.
Best movement detection
This product uses an intelligent algorithm to counteract tremors and shakes, which the company claims can offset 85% of unwanted tremors. This smart technology can distinguish between voluntary movement and hand tremors.
The utensil has different, interchangeable attachments, which include a spoon and fork. Both of the attachments are dishwasher-safe, but people must avoid submerging the electronic handle in water.
The device’s materials are medical grade, chemical-free, and antibacterial. It has a rechargeable battery, and a person can use this product for three meals per day on a fully charged battery.
People can purchase the GYENNO Parkinson Spoon and Fork from online retailers, including Amazon.
Best removable cuff
These polyester cuffs wrap around a person’s existing eating utensils, creating a handle. An individual can then place their hand through the handle to securely hold their cutlery.
It is possible to adjust the Velcro straps to prevent slipping, with the company claiming that the product will fit most hand sizes.
The pack includes three cuffs — one for a cup and two for utensils.
Adaptive Utensils Universal Cuffs are available to purchase online.
Best adaptable foam
These foam padding grips create a wider surface area for a person to clasp. The tubing is soft and nonslip, so the utensil does not move around. The dishwasher-safe foam does not absorb odors from a person’s hand or their food.
The tubing comes in a pack of nine, and a person can cut it to a suitable length. There are three different kinds of tubing with varying diameters.
In addition to attaching to utensils, the tubes may be suitable for use with toothbrushes and pens.
Vive Foam Tubing is available to purchase online.
The utensils in this non-weighted, three piece, stain-resistant set each have a wide ribbed handle with raised, textured grips. The stainless steel utensils bend to any angle and suit both left-handed and right-handed people.
Each set consists of a spoon, fork, and knife, and a person can choose to add a wrist strap to each utensil for an added cost.
The handles are made of silicone and are dishwasher-friendly.
Mars Wellness 3 Piece Easy Grip Flatware Set is available to purchase online.
This electronic product has a stabilizing handle, and the company claims that the utensil shakes 70% less than a person’s hand. It contains sensors, motors, and an integrated computer that can counteract hand tremors.
Multiple attachments are available, including a fork, knife, and spoon. The device uses a rechargeable battery that can last for an hour of continuous use. The company states that it should last for approximately three meals before a person needs to recharge it.
The Liftware Steady is available to purchase online.
Best sloped scooping aid
This sloped plate may help people guide food onto their eating utensils. The plate has a short wall that gradually becomes taller the further around it goes so as to aid the scooping motion. This feature may also help minimize spillages.
The plate has a nonslip rubber base to prevent it from sliding away from an individual. It is also dishwasher-safe, latex-free, and light in weight.
The Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate is available to purchase online.
Best for spill prevention
This clear mug contains two handles that an individual can securely grip to prevent spills. It is made from plastic and is light in weight.
The cup can hold 12 ounces of warm or cold liquid, and it has a large base for stability.
Both the mug and lid are dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and the product is latex-free.
Providence Spillproof Independence Two Handle Plastic Mug is available to purchase online.
A person may wish to consider the following factors when choosing a utensil suitable for those living with Parkinson’s disease:
- Symptoms: A person with weakness and stiffness may benefit most from utensils with a wider handle. Those with tremors may benefit from a device with smart technology.
- Materials: Although the utensils themselves are typically made from stainless steel, a person may wish to consider the material of the handles.
- Easy to clean: If a person is using their items frequently, they may wish to ensure that the product is easy to clean. Many devices are dishwasher-safe, although integrated computerized handles are often not.
- Style: People should take time to think about the style of utensil that would best suit them. For example, a person may have a preference for a weighted, non-weighted, rechargeable, or bendable device. Additionally, grips and cuffs are available to fit standard kitchen utensils.
- Cost: Utensils with smart technology may have a higher cost. For those looking to spend less, utensil sets and attachable cuffs may be more cost effective.
Parkinson’s disease can cause a person to develop tremors, making it more difficult for them to hold cutlery steady. Specially designed utensils can help stabilize shaking hands to reduce spills and aid independent eating.
A variety of designs is available, including products with smart technology, bendable products, and weighted products. Alongside cutlery, adapted plates, bowls, and cups are available that may also help at mealtimes.