Bespoke Cutlery for Post Polio Sufferer
Hazel suffers with manual dexterity following polio. She needed a set of cutlery that allows her to feed herself, which fits her hands comfortably, and will not degrade in the dishwasher.
Earlier bespoke cutlery lost its shape in hot water so became useless.
She was inspired by Remapedia to ask us if there was something that could be made for her.
Our client wanted to be able to eat independently, at home as well as at restaurants. She has a limited grip due to hand problems following polio.
Due to the unique way that her hands are distorted, no off the shelf solution would allow her to use knife fork and spoon when eating.
She needs to have a secure grip on the cutlery to eat as normally as possible.
Some ingenuity was applied to this problem to make a set of cutlery that could be used effectively within the constrain of the client’s hand movements. To do this rings were fitted to the cutlery at appropriate angles to allow both pulling and pushing of the fork and spoon.
An initial solution had been developed by using a plastic material that could be moulded to the correct shape. This was not suitable in the long term because it went out of shape in the dishwasher.
Based on the geometry of the first design a 3D CAD drawing was made and used for the design.
A dental technician took a mould of the client’s hand and this was used to position the ear lobe stretching rings in just the right position.
The rings were silver soldered to a tube so that knife, fork or spoon could be inserted depending on the meal being eaten.
This has been in use for some years now, and on a recent revisit for another job she is still using the cutlery and is very happy with it.
So future improvement would lie in the method of design and manufacture – maybe using a 3D scanner to get the correct geometry.
The client is now therefore able to eat without assistance and especially enjoy restaurant meals with her partner. This gives her a feeling of independence.
On receiving the cutlery the client was overjoyed to be able to eat unassisted.
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