Case study - Eating & Drinking
Ray lives with his wife; he suffers from Rheumatoid arthritis which has affected his hand grip and one of his difficulties is eating and drinking.
I arranged to visit at lunchtime so Ray could show me the difficulties he has been experiencing. His first difficulty was his plate sliding on the tabletop when he put pressure on the plate, he did not have the strength or grip to cut the meat with his knife and his peas ended up all over the table. Needless to say, Ray was becoming frustrated and meal times fraught. He was also having difficulties picking up his mug of tea so had resorted to using a straw which didn’t make his tea taste great!
I began by stabilising his plate with the use of a non slip mat placed underneath, instantly this made life a little easier because this provided stability and resistance to work against. I then fitted a plate guard which is a plastic surround that clips on to the plate and provides a barrier to push the food up against and so keep the peas at bay. Next, we looked at the cutlery, Ray felt very strongly that he wanted to be able to cut up his own dinner and not have to rely on his wife for help; he tried the knork which is a knife and fork combination. He was able to cut up his meat on the plate independently. Ray also tried a lightweight mug with a large handle which meant that he could easily place all of his fingers in the handle and he also tried the two-handled mug for comparison.
Ray stated that he felt in control now with these basic aids. Although at first, he was reluctant to accept equipment, being independent far outweighed this.