Ask the care expert .. about silverware to help with tremors

Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RNC, CDONA, FACDONA, executive director, NADONA

Do you know of silverware to assist residents who may have Parkinson's or tremors while eating? We have weighted bulky silverware, but it seems to add to the shaking.

Oh, how I remember keeping track of the weighted silverware! It seems that if it left the floor and went to the kitchen, it was never to be seen again. We tried our best to hang onto it, but it always made its way off the nursing unit.

There are several different types of silverware with a new emerging technology known as active cancellation of tremor (ACT). In ACT, tiny sensors detect movements in real time and produce fast and precise counter-movements. This antagonistic action reduces tremor amplitude and severity, essentially canceling out some of the problematic tremors. 

Think of the system as being similar to a “noise canceling” device that drowns out ambient noise to allow one to concentrate. However, instead of canceling out unwanted noise, the ACT technology fosters the cancellation of unwanted tremors.

The silverware reminds me of an electric toothbrush. You can insert different types of silverware into the same handle, sort of like putting on a new toothbrush. The handle in many cases is rechargeable. The silverware portion can be put in the dishwasher, and the rechargeable end can remain on the nursing unit or the resident's room so as not to get misplaced.

The companies claim that using the ACT technology averts 70% of the tremors, allowing residents to feed themselves, and assisting them in maintaining some independence. In many cases, it also will assist against weight loss. Use the search engine of your choice to look for ACT silverware, tremor-canceling silverware or feeding devices to assist Parkinson's residents. You will find a lot