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Eatwell Tableware to encourage those with dementia to eat more

Eatwell Tableware to encourage those with dementia to eat more

A San Francisco-based designer has created a range of tableware designed to offer a solution to people who struggle to eat due to physical disabilities and infirmities.  It is called the Eatwell Tableware set.

The Eatwell set was researched, designed and created by Sha Yao.  Sha created the set after being inspired by her late grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease.  She said, “Every time I looked at her, I wish I could have done something to help her. I believe there are many ways to improve the quality of life of our loved ones with progressive Alzheimer’s disease, as well as the lives of their care givers.”

The Inspiration

The inspiration for Eatwell tableware stemmed from both her personal connection as well as her interest in innovative design. The philosophy behind the design was to increase food and drink intake and encourage better health and nutrition.  The simple design makes the products easy to use.  The practicality allows elderly parents to maintain dignity and independence during meals and reduce the burden felt by care givers.

The project received more than £67,000 pledged in support and donations for the project through crowdfunding website Indiegogo from over 35 countries.   It delivered its first set in October 2015 and has gone on from strength to strength.   Take a look at the products here.

Each Eatwell tableware sells for $60 (approx £50) you can get four piece sets in your choice of red or yellow or for both sets, it’s $110 (approx £90).

About the Designer

Sha’s project was recognised as one of seven finalists out of 52 in the Stanford’s Centre on Longevity Design Challenge 2014 and crowned the winner. The competition was launched in collaboration with Ageing 2.0 – a global initiative that aims to accelerate innovations for old people across the world.

She commented: “After winning the Stanford Design Challenge in 2014, we gained much more exposure and it helped us to reach a broader audience, but more importantly, it helped us to have a successful crowdfunding campaign and receive enough funding to make Eatwell a real product set that can be used by real users.”

Eatwell bowl and spoon

The Eatwell Tableware Products

The 20 features of the nine-piece-set are the result of more than four years’ worth of careful research and planning, resulting in the crowdfunding campaign that led to the full production of the set.

Eatwell sets contain an entire place setting designed for those with cognitive or motor impairments, specifically aimed at those with dementia. The design of a traditional place setting has been amended to feature bright colours, textures, weight and to make the food more appealing, while bright blue surfaces make food more visible.

The design features slanted bottoms to keep food together, making it even easier to scoop and weighted bottoms and skid-resistant materials to prevent spillages, while a placement has space for a napkin to catch any drips.

“Design can make big differences to improve the lives of many people”

The brightly coloured design of the Eatwell tableware set was inspired by research conducted by Boston University, following the results of a study revealing bright colours encourage food consumption in people living with Alzheimer’s. Researchers saw people living with dementia consume 24 per cent more food from brightly coloured receptacles and 84 per cent more liquid, high-living the huge impact a product’s design can have on the user.

Eatwell mug

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