5 Tools and Accessories That Make Feeding Easier for the Physically Challenged
Being unable to eat due to a physical challenge is one of the most incapacitating things for anyone. It’s not about the inability to get the necessary nutrition to stay alive. So much of daily life revolves around meals as well—just think of how a day is divided around breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Imagine then the experience of those who cannot eat due to a physical disability and how much they’re missing out on.
Hence, numerous aids have been designed to help people to eat and enjoy their food. These include the following:
1. Utensil Hand Clips and Holders
If gripping and holding is an issue, these clips are a simple solution to the problem. Wrapping across the palm and the back of it, these holders can accommodate most standard-sized utensils. These enables one to raise the fork or spoon to his or her mouth, without needing to grip or hold around it.
2. Plate Guards
Able to use only one hand, and so cannot use both fork and spoon at the same time? Attach a plate guard to the dish being used. These take the place of the fork’s role by acting as a wall, against which one can scoop up the food using a spoon.
3. Straws and Lip Blocks
A bad case of lockjaw or the inability to open the mouth can prevent one from being able to drink. That’s where the lowly straw and the lip block come into play. By attaching a lip block to the end of the straw, the straw can be inserted inside the person’s mouth. The lip block protects the straw from being chewed on and at the same time, prevents it from being pushed too far into the mouth.
4. Two-Handed Mugs
Yes, they’re similar to those used by smaller children. These two-handed mugs help those with weaker grips and less strength raise the vessel to their mouth to drink.
5. Feeding Tubes and Liquid Nutritional Supplements
In severe cases wherein one cannot ingest solid or semi-solid food anymore, feeding tubes can be used as a last resort. These tubes come in three forms:
• Nasogastric feeding tubes, which as the name implies, passes through nostril to stomach; intended for short-term use only
• Jejunostomy or J Tubes, which is inserted through the abdomen and into the jejunum part of the small intestine.
Of course, these tubes are where liquid nutritional supplements pass through. While it’s not as palatable as eating, these supplements come packed with the right nutrients to stay alive.
These helpful eating & drinking aids and feeding tubes are just some of the most popular examples available in the market today. And as these examples show, they definitely help bring a semblance of normality back into one’s life, despite most disabilities.
© NewLeaf Health 2016