More than one million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s Disease and its various side effects, such as hand tremors. Eating, one of the most basic independent tasks, can be a frustrating challenge for Parkinson’s Disease patients.
A recent story on National Public Radio’s segment, “All Things Considered,” highlighted a new tool designed to combat the tremors associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Liftware, is a hand-held spoon designed to move and react to Parkinson’s related tremors. The end result is that the spoon maintains a steady course while the Parkinson’s patient is able to keep food in the implement and feed themselves. Clinical trials noted that the device combated tremors approximately 70 percent of the time. So, that means fewer English peas on the floor and a more satisfying mealtime experience for Parkinson’s Disease patients and their caregivers.
Engineer Anupam Pathak developed the tool while researching stabilizing methods for weapons for the U.S. Army Research Lab. He said that he hopes to introduce other tools such as a fort, soup spoon and a device to steady door keys.
In addition to providing another level of independence for Parkinson’s Disease patients, the device can be provide another aid to family caregivers and caregivers in assisted living and skilled nursing communities.
Currently, the product retails for approximately $300. However, the Liftware company has donated products to foundations that have distributed to those patients who cannot afford to buy their own Liftware tool.
We think it’s great when a new product becomes available that can improve independence in the lives of aging parents and others.