Posted on 20/07/2020

Eating aids to help older people enjoy mealtimes and stay nourished

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Eating aids to help older people enjoy mealtimes and stay nourished

Getting the right nutrients and eating a balanced diet are especially important as people grow older, however there are many factors that can affect a person’s ability or desire to eat, including reduced strength in their hands and limited vision.

Below we highlight some top tips and useful products that can help to bring comfort and joy back to mealtimes.

Discover the variety of cutlery available

Whilst cutlery designs and styles do vary, most knives, forks and spoons in a typical household are made from stainless steel with long, and sometimes thin, handles. This standard cutlery design can be difficult for some people to grip and can cause discomfort when they’re eating. However, there are a variety of cutlery aids that are designed with larger handles and angled or profiled designs to improve comfort when using cutlery. The Kura Care Cutlery set has recently been redesigned by NRS Healthcare’s own product development team and includes a knife, fork and spoon which have an attractive, inclusive design with profiled handles and finger rest indents for improved grip.

Keep food hotter for longer

If a person eats their food slowly it may go cold before they have finished eating which can put them off finishing their meal. A simple way to avoid food going cold is to serve it in a few smaller portions and keep the rest with a lid on, or on a low heat, then serve when it’s needed. Alternatively, keep warm dishes can be used to help the food retain heat by filling a chamber that sits below the food with hot water.

Reduce the risk of spills

Worry about spills can cause some people to avoid eating their food, but there are a few simple things that can be done to improve the stability of plates and bowls and reduce the risk of food spilling onto the table or a person’s clothing.

Using table mats with good grip can help to keep bowls and plates stable on the table and using non-slip mats, such as the dycem mat, can help to add grip on smooth surfaces around the home. Additionally, a person might consider a sloped plate that enables food to fall to the front of the plate, making it easier to scoop up and see, even if the person has limited use of one hand.

Consider the benefits of bright utensils

If someone is living with reduced vision or a health condition that can cause disorientation, such as dementia, bright bowls and plates can help to make the plate more visible. Many standard pieces of tableware are white or light coloured and can be difficult to make out against light table cloths. Finding kitchen aids that contrast with the surface they are on can help someone to distinguish their food and feel comfortable about where they are eating from, as well as reducing the risk of spills.

If you are interested in viewing the full range of eating and drinking aids available at NRS Healthcare, please browse our website.

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