Tremors and Eating Aids for the Elderly
Older adults living with health conditions like stroke, Alzheimer's, dementia, tremors, arthritis, or neuropathy often have trouble eating independently. Tremors are classified as either resting or action. As the name suggests, resting tremors occur when the body is relaxed and action tremors occur during a target-directed movement or when a specific part of a body is pressed in a position against gravity. Hand tremors can make holding utensils and the necessary hand and arm movements almost impossible. Here is what you should know about tremors and eating aids for the elderly.
Causes of Hand Tremors in the Elderly
There are different types of tremors, resulting from different things. Here are just some of the causes of hand tremors in the elderly:
Parkinson's disease is found more frequently in people over 60 years of age. Degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain causes shakiness. In turn, Parkinson's patients experience a deterioration in muscle control and an overall reduction in life expectancy.
According to APDA parkinson.org, 80% of Parkinson's patients experience involuntary movements. With that said, Parkinson's disease isn't the most common reason why old people shake.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Many people with MS experience some degree of tremor. This often develops when the disease damages areas in the pathways of the central nervous system that control movement.
This is among the most common movement disorders, and the cause is unknown. The tremor usually affects both sides of the body, but it may be more noticeable in the dominant hand. It tends to occur when the person is moving as well as when standing still. Genetics may be responsible for around half of the cases of essential tremors.
Eating Aids for the Elderly
Here are some of the eating aids for the elderly:
Table Trays for Eating Aids
Table trays will come in handy if they prefer sitting in their recliner over an unsupportive chair positioned at the kitchen table. An easy-to-maneuver table tray will also allow them to get up and sit down with comfort.
Weighted Spoons With Grip
Parkinson's Disease causes tremors that make it difficult to keep food on the fork or spoon. Weighted silverware helps reduce tremors, making it easier for food to make it into your mouth. There are a variety of choices for weighted utensils, including options that look like typical silverware and versions that are easier to hold due to their built-up grip.
If you require more help to cope with tremors, try the ELISpoon. ELISpoon uses stabilizing technology to enable independent eating for people with limited hand and arm mobility such as essential tremors. The design allows you to interchange multiple attachments and use the ELISpoon as a teaspoon or a soup spoon suitable for both children and adults.
EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aid
EazyHold Silicone Adaptive Aid creates positive independence for individuals with limited hand mobility, decreased muscle strength, Cerebral Palsy, and those who've suffered from a stroke. Further, EazyHold is uniquely versatile, applied to various utensils in the home, not just limited to dinnerware. EazyHold can support aging adults to maintain a grasp while writing, eating, and grooming. This incredible life-changing product comes in several colors and multiple sizes for optimal comfort.
British inventor Chris Peacock created the HandSteady ergonomic cup to help people with health conditions such as tremors, joint pain, and Parkinson's disease to drink without experiencing challenges. The lightweight cup has a rotatable handle, enabling users to have more control and avoid spilling as it lets the cup self-level and self-stabilize to positions where the tremors are less frequent.
The large handle that can fit up to four fingers allows the weight of the drink to be spread across the hand and fingers to reduce pressure and discomfort. It also enables users to drink without bending their wrist or leaning their head back too far.
Learn more about caring for your loved one and Elite Choice
Elite Choice, is a fiscal intermediary for CDPAP, supporting at-home caregivers and their loved ones so that being cared for in your own home is a blessing for everyone. We are proud to have resources available to help support caregivers. Have any questions? Call us today and we will be glad to help!
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain management and internal medicine. She oversees all patient services across Elite's departments.