Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The utensils keeping frail people eating independently (part 2)

Activities directors, caregivers, and healthcare professionals,here is some great information

Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professinals,

Here is information on being the best caregiver you can be

Here are more interesting dementia brain boosting activities

Here is a dementia music activity

By Jane Elliott
Health reporter, BBC News

"Care homes are the place design forgot," he said.

"There is a double standard, older people in care have no choice but to use designs most carers would be embarrassed to use."

So, working closely with Bupa and the Helen Hamlyn Centre, Mr Timlin visited numerous care homes, spending time with staff and residents to see how he could improve their eating experiences.

He designed:

a cup and plate to help those with poor vision, by using colour to ensure the food contrasts with the plate, and make the plate edge visible against the table
a high-lipped plate to help people with limited dexterity to keep food on their plate, and a removable microwavable outer layer to keep their food warm for longer
a cup with an insulating layer of neoprene to replace childlike double-handled cups by removing the handles and allowing the resident to grab it like a glass
a plate shaped so care workers can hold it close to residents unable to feed themselves, meaning they can still see and smell what they are eating
a table designed to accommodate wheelchairs so all residents can get close enough to their food to eat, with lights that can be adjusted to compensate for different visual difficulties
Michalae Thompson, home manager at Bupa's Meadbank Nursing Centre in London, which Mr Timlin visited, said she had been very impressed by the designs, which she feels are much needed.

"The problems associated with dementia in relation to eating and drinking result in food being 'chased' around normal plates and the options that are available are quite childlike, such as plate guards and split plates," she said.

"The drinking cups can look like enlarged babies' cups. Also someone with dementia may taker longer to eat and this can cause issues as the food cools.......more tomorrow

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