With Liftware, One Can Eat with Confidence and Independence

Special cutlery offers independence.

Eighteenth-Century Folding Medical Spoon
Courtesy of the Wellcome Trust, via Wikimedia Commons

 

In our February 6 Assistive Tech Tuesday feature, we discussed Bessie Blount Griffin and her pioneering feeding device, which allowed amputees to feed themselves. This week, we cover the Liftware spoon, a high-tech device that uses a computer-controlled gyroscope to keep the business end steady for persons with uncontrollable tremors. The technology is different, but the objective is the same: ensuring the independence of people with disabilities.

 

Special cutlery offers independence

Despite his hand tremors, this gentleman can feed himself independently, thanks to the genius of Liftware.

A $200 spoon? At first, even our Assistive Technology Specialists were at first somewhat skeptical. However, everyone keeps an open mind, evaluating the many new assistive technology devices. AT specialists will recommend only those items that are effective; these are also the devices available at our Technology Lending Center. Indeed, our technicians were intrigued. However, the true test is how a device performs in the field, enabling an individual with a disability to perform an everyday task independently. The very first person who borrowed a sample of this piece of high-tech cutlery told Dave Lam, our Technology Lending Center Coordinator, that thanks to the Liftware spoon, her mother (with Parkinson’s disease) was able to eat independently for the first time in nearly 20 years. Upon returning the device, she ended up purchasing one of her own.

 

Liftware produces handles with stabilizing and leveling technologies for people with tremors or limited hand or arm mobility. The handles accommodate separate attachments with forks and spoons. The two product lines offered are the Liftware Steady and the Liftware Level.

  •  Liftware Steady. This is the original Liftware product. It is designed for people with Parkinson’s and other hand tremors. With its sensor and motor-based cancellation technology, the utensil will reduce shaking by 70 percent, according to the company. The kit includes an attachment for a soup and spoon; additional attachments in the form of an everyday spoon, a fork, and a spork are available. The battery is good for one hour (approximately three meals) on a single charge.
  • Liftware Level. The Level is a brand-new product that enables one to hold a utensil at any angle without spilling the contents. This device is meant for persons with limited hand and arm mobility, those with cerebral palsy or who have suffered a stroke or spinal cord injury. The soup spoon attachment comes with the kit; a fork is also available. The life of the rechargeable battery is the same as on the Liftware Steady.

 

The Assisitve Technology Center at Advancing Opportunities offers individualized assistance on evaluating and making modifications in the home that can be made to help people with various physical disabilities function in a kitchen independently, with tools that make cooking and food preparation easier.

 

 

Special cutlery offers independence

Eighteenth-Century Folding Medical Spoon
Courtesy of the Wellcome Trust, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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