At the Independent Living Centre, we continually research and add to our collection of gadgets to help with eating and drinking. We know how important it is for you to try this equipment to discover the right solution for you. Please refer to the eating and drinking page for simple gadgets and suggestions. We also keep up-to-date with the more complex technology that is being developed to help you to stay independent and this is an introduction to our favourites at the Independent Living Centre.
The Neater Eaters are devices to support independent eating. The manual ‘Neater eater’ has been used for decades and is still a very effective device to help you eat independently when you have a tremor. The support arm holds the cutlery with a unique and adjustable dampening system to keep the cutlery steady as you scoop and raise food to your mouth. It has adjustments and extras to rotate the plate and provide alternative handles so you can find the right setup for you. The Neater Eater Robotic is now a smart device that is controlled via an app. It is neat and portable and has to be seen to be believed. Watch the video of the Neater Easter Robotic in use. We can also ask our local rep to bring one to the Independent Living Centre for you to see it in action.
The Obi dining companion from Rahana Life has developed their own automated eating device and again, there are films of it in action on their website. And we know the local rep who is happy to bring this clever and compact device to the Independent Living Centre for you to try.
Reminders may be useful to prompt you to eat and drink throughout the day. These could be set up on your own mobile phone, or we can show you apps that help you to plan and remember your daily routine. We can also show you a range of electronic reminders that can be set up to give you audible or visual reminders during the day or night to help you eat regularly and keep hydrated. Some of these have generic messages that can be timed to suit you, others allow you to create your own reminder, some of these reminders work though your Wi-Fi and can be adjusted on-site via your computer or a friend or relative can add reminders when they are on their own computers at home.
Smart plugs can be used to connect to any electric gadget, and its use can then be monitored via a smart home system, off-site friends or carers can monitor if the person has boiled the kettle during the day which may indicate that they have got up and had breakfast or warn the carer that they have not. The person must give their consent for use of any monitoring equipment at home.
Liquid level indicators help someone with a visual impairment to pour a drink without spilling. We have this innovative gadget at the Independent Living Centre for you to try, it has been around for decades, but nothing has improved on its design yet! See equipment for eating and drinking.
Sensory loss: Devon has some great local services to support people with sensory loss to find equipment and solutions to stay safe and independent at home.
Devon in Sight (Devon Association for the Blind): www.devoninsight.org.uk
Jasmyn House Sensory Resource Centre For Torbay residents (Sight & Hearing): 01803 527776
See Hear Centre Barnstaple For North Devon residents (Living Options): 01271 373236
Sound Base: For Exeter and East Devon residents 01392 424018
The national Charity The Thomas Pocklington Trust can give information and advice about gadgets and appliances to help anyone living with sight loss www.pocklington-trust.org.uk