My mom suffered with painful arthritis in her hands and fingers – the kind that enlarged her knuckles and twisted her fingers. Her condition not only caused pain, it made it very challenging to do everyday tasks like eating and opening jars.
Looking back, I wish I had known about eating utensils for arthritic hands – they would have made her life a little easier.
What Are Adaptive Utensils?
Adaptive eating or cooking utensils have modifications that give someone with arthritic hands a way to hold onto them more easily. They can also provide more stability if the person has tremors or is shaky when eating.
These utensils generally have enlarged and often angled handles for easier gripping and to help when the person has difficulty positioning traditional cutlery. They may also have padded, non-slip grips or may use straps or handles to aid the user in holding onto them.
Sometimes adaptive utensils may also be weighted, which gives them more stability during eating.
Easy Grip Utensils We Recommend
In my mom’s case, it would have been more comfortable, I’m sure, if she’d used a padded handle on her tableware, like the ones on this utensil set from Special Supplies. They have a soft silicone, textured grip so they are gentle on tender hands.
This dishwasher safe set includes a soup spoon, knife, fork, and regular spoon. One nice thing about the knife is that is slightly serrated, so it can be used to cut food – some adaptive knives are blunt and sort of useless for cutting.
Weighted Utensils We Recommend
If the senior in your life has Parkinson’s or a conditions that causes tremors, weighted utensils can help. Look for a set that weighs about four times what a regular eating utensils do – this helps to reduce shakes and tremors while eating.
For weighted utensils, we really like the Vive Health weighted utensil set because they are easy to maintain – just throw them into the dishwasher along with your other cutlery and plates.
The set includes a deep soup spoon, plus a regular spoon, fork, and knife. The utensils are made of stainless steel, so they won’t rust and they are also designed to be ergonomically correct.
Angled Adaptive Eating Utensils We Recommend
There are eating utensils with angled handles that help the user more easily direct their food into their mouth.
Angled knives from Sammons Preston can help with cutting food when the person has difficulty positioning a knife.
Convert Your Own Eating Utensils Into Adaptive Utensils
If you aren’t ready to take the step of purchasing adaptive utensils for eating, you can always get built up handles. These are adaptive grips that slide onto an eating utensil, or a toothbrush, pens and pencils, crochet hooks and many other items.
If you are going to use them to aid with eating, just be sure they can withstand high temperatures that silverware sometimes has to endure (for example, a spoon in coffee). Also check that they are dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.