Eatwell: Tableware set for people with cognitive impairment
By: Jean-Sebastien Dackiw, intern, AARP Office of International Affairs
Publish Date: December
Product name: Eatwell
Use: Tableware set for people with cognitive impairment
Company/Developer: Sha Yao
Availability: Currently raising funds for manufacturing costs and future production
Malnutrition is a concern for all patients with cognitive impairment. In particular, Alzheimer’s patients tend to be poorly nourished because of diminished hunger, forgetfulness, depression, or difficulty using tableware.
Eatwell, a product designed and conceived by Sha Yao, is tableware that aids people with cognitive impairment. She was inspired by her grandmother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when she noticed she could no longer care for herself. Thus, in effort to improve her grandmother’s quality of life, she designed tableware that stimulates appetite while minimizing effort of both the individual and the caregiver.
20 unique features address the needs of those with cognitive impairments. The bowls and cups have brightly colored exteriors which stimulate 24% more consumption of food and 84% more drink as research from Boston University shows. The interior of the bowls contrast the exterior to easily identify the food. Two features facilitate the eating process: the slanted base of the bowl collects all the food on one side to ease scooping; the spoon matches the curvature of the bowl for easy gathering of food. All instruments are designed not to topple and to stay in place on the tray. The tray has attachments for a bib to ensure that no food is dropped on cloths or the carpet. All parts of the table-set have been explicitly designed to minimize discomfort.
Sha Yao’s product is seeing recognition across the world as a smart design for a worthy cause. The Eatwell won Stanford’s Design Challenge this year, it was recognized in Forbes, and is being identified as an empowering project in Umpqua Bank’s Catalyst series. After Sha Yao’s presentation at Aging Innovation Week (Nov. 15-19) in Taiwan, Eatwell was featured in Taiwan on an official government website, on news channels, and on print. Lately, it was asked to collaborate with Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association.