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Easy-to-use tools for people who have cognitive impairment to eat independently.

Create user-friendly dining ware set to help people with dementia increase food intake, maintain dignity, and make caregiving easier.

Photo of Sha Yao
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

I was inspired by my late grandmother who had dementia. She lost her appetite, ate less then she should, tipped over cups very often, and sometimes refused to eat. The new tableware set can be used to assist our loved ones to eat independently and maintain their dignity. Caregivers will be able to spend less time worrying about loved ones not getting enough nutrition, and also be able to spend less time to feed and clean up after them.

There are many things that will be taken into consideration. The color, the size, the shape, the usage of each of the utensils and pieces of tableware.

Colors will be chosen using insights adapted from research in appetite and thirst psychology to improve appetite and visual acuity.

Shapes and curvatures will be well designed to allow users to gather food and make scooping easier. 

All pieces are ergonomically designed and easy to grip. Each piece will include features with anti-sliding materials.

Cups will have anti-tipping features, and have straw securing lids.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I volunteered in several adult day care centers to do first-hand observations on people with dementia. I realize that the key point in making a good product is to design what people want, and not to design what I want. I work with professionals to come up with solutions.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I want to learn how to conduct a good evaluation with solid numbers without bias. How to conduct research properly. I am also looking for more resources to push this project to the next level.

How long has your idea existed?

  • Over 1 year

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I m an entrepreneur with a background in ID. I am a dog lover.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Ann Eichenberger

How does your concept improve eating abilities? As you may know, there are plates and flatware already available on Amazon. Have you built a prototype? How expensive will this be? How large is the market?