Over the last several years I've been dealing with various stages of disability thanks to ALS. My goal is to share solutions and review various products/tools/devices that I have found particularly helpful.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

My New Spoon

It's been an ongoing project for me for a long time now to figure out better ways of getting food from my plate into my face hole. Fortunately, chewing and swallowing it is not a problem for me yet. But getting the food there often is.

This is where caused many explorations into more accessible plates and utensils. Some of which work better than others. Some of which only work for a period of time. I've gone through lots of different cutlery by now and what is commonly accessible to the disabled doesn't really seem to be suiting my correct at this point in time. They seem to be either too large, unbalanced or otherwise unwieldy…

the people at my rehab facility had said they'd never seen
or thought of a design like this
So I've created my own adaptation to a spoon. Check it out:

This spoon is a fairly typical handy accessible spoon which was provided to me by my rehabilitation facility. You can't see it very well and the image that it does have a curve to the left, intended for a right-handed user. Making it easier to get the food in your mouth.

We've modified it by sending down the thickness of the handle quite substantially and by adding the two rings that you can see in the picture. These two rings are simply riveted in place a little loosely allowing me to position them for best alignment to my fingers. We've also added a little soft tape on the inside to just help with spacing. This is a prototype and we are still working out some of the details like where exactly to place the rings. That said, this spoon seems work the best for me at this point in time.

say hello to my new spoon
The rings are something you would find in any hardware store. I believe that intended to hold small pipes in place during construction these modifications were made for me by my rehabilitation facility.Over my next few visits to my rehabilitation facility, we will make a few tweaks to this prototype. But I think it will stay pretty much like this. Right now the rings need to be repositioned a little bit and possibly a little bit of a groove to better hold my index finger in place. But other than that, this is working fairly well.

As for other cutlery, the next step is to see how well this works for a fork. Knives are out of the question for me. I require both hands to maintain the spoon study and get into my face.

On a side note, having a disability friendly plate helps immensely. One with a raised edge helps to push the food onto your fork or spoon. I wouldn't say it's required, but it does help prevent the food on your plate for making a break for it.

And, just for some fun. You can see the whole "Rejected" video here: Rejected

Stupid, yes. Funny, even more so ;-)

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