I’ve mentioned before that my dad has Parkinson’s Disease, and that it’s getting steadily worse. His diagnosis was almost 20 years ago now, which seems amazing to me, but the last few years his symptoms have increased at what seems like an exponential rate. One of the things he has a very hard time with is eating, since the drugs can no longer control his shaking to any great extent. He has (for now) worked out a solution by eating with tablespoons rather than teaspoons, and by gripping them in his fist as a child would rather than the way we were taught to as adults. It is, to say the least, heartbreaking to watch.

The Liftware Spoon aims to aid people like my dad by means of special hardware that combats the shaking. About ten years ago, a University of Michigan student named Anupam Pathak developed a means of helping soldiers control rifle barrel shaking, and he has now applied that technology to spoons to aid those with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders with eating. Each spoon has tremor-cancelling hardware installed in its handle, which makes the handle considerably bulkier than that of a regular spoon, but which also then makes that handle easier for those afflicted to grip. It also comes with a Lift Pulse app that measures the tremors’ frequency and duration, which can also help doctors determine a course of treatment for the illness.

Basically, what the spoon does is counteract the tremors. The hands still shake, but the hardware in the spoon counteracts that shaking to leave the spoon steady. Which means virtually no more spills, no more worry about them giving up in frustration after not being able to move their food from plate to mouth, no more undereating that can lead to further health issues. If you care for or about someone with Parkinson’s or a similar disease, you understand how amazing that could be. The thought honestly brought tears to my eyes.

No word yet on pricing for this amazing gadget, but it’s supposed to be available within the next few months. Or as I think of it…just in time for Christmas.

Source: Damn Geeky

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