Designer Develops Alzheimer’s-Friendly Tableware Thanks to Inspiration from Her Late Grandmother
“When my grandmother was first diagnosed with the disease, I began volunteering at senior care centers to learn more about the condition,” the creator explains. “I noticed that for many people with Alzheimer’s, the act of eating could be difficult and extremely frustrating, and as a result, people with Alzheimer’s often eat less than what is healthy for them. Because spilled foods and drinks are so common, the burden on caregivers and staff from cleaning up accidents as well as motivating their care recipients to eat the proper amount of food can become extremely challenging.”
To address these fixable problems, the Eatwell collection features over 20 special details that are meant to support users and their appetite. Both the inside and outside of Yao’s bowls display specific colors to help consumers easily identify their food.
As for the spoons, they match the shape of the bowl so that it’s easier for individuals to scoop their food. When it comes to drinking, Yao has modified this process as well, by producing an anti-tipping mug. To prevent consistent spills and mishandling, all of the designer’s items are made from an anti-slip material. Ultimately, Eatwell intends to simplify the process of eating for those who need extra support.
“To better understand this disease, I volunteered in adult day care centers. From exploring the daily activities through observation and talking with caregivers, I found that daily activities related to the everyday lives of people with Alzheimer’s can be frustrating for their caregivers. I discovered that eating was one of the most challenging daily activities.”
“Eating should be a simple task for most people. However, the cognitive and various sensory impairments of Alzheimer’s may result in a variety of eating problems. I realized there were many people who have the same problems as my grandma. They often ate less than they should, and accidents with spilled food and tipped cups were common.”
“For many families, meals are a time for sharing and reconnecting, and enjoying each other’s company. When the disease affects one member of a family, the mealtime experience can become stressful and challenges are created for both caregivers and their loved ones. What’s more, once the patients stop eating or have general problems eating enough, their health condition often rapidly worsens.”
“That’s the reason I created Eatwell, a tableware set with a very user-centered design that helps to increase food intake and maintain dignity for its users, while also helping to alleviate caring burdens by making the process of eating as easy as possible.”