Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set
Assistive Tableware Set
Inspired by my late grandmother who had Alzheimer's, I devoted myself to creating innovative products to help seniors in need by improving their quality of life. Through one-on-one observation and networking with professional caretakers in the senior industry, I was able to identify and define the most common problems people with dementia may have. The Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set was developed after 2 and a half years of extensive research and iterative design. Every design detail and decision can be traced back to a discovery that was made during the process.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Eatwell Assistive Tableware Set uses a bright, solid two-color tone design specifically selected to stimulate thirst and appetite, and reduce visual confusion based on scientific research. Each set includes a unique combination of over 20 assistive features, including slanted basins, angled sidewalls, expanded rims, ergonomic handles, anti-tip and anti-slip structures. These features are integrated into a single, matched tableware set that collectively shortens and simplifies eating and drinking motions, increases handling comfort, prevents spills and tipped vessels, thereby allowing increased independence in its user and and reducing caregiving burdens.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The set itself is very user-friendly. Target users can use the set as normal dining ware and utensils without learning new skills. To increase the effectiveness of Eatwell Assistive Tableware Sets and avoid potential hazards:
- When serving meals to users with cognitive impairment, we recommend that dishes are served one at a time, in order to increase focus and reduce the risk of visual confusion and over-stimulation.
- We suggest positioning Eatwell Assistive Tableware Bowls with the tab facing away from the user, such that the side with the deeper chamber is closer to the user. The bowl is positioned as intended when the Eatwell logo is right-side up from the direction of the user. If the Eatwell logo is upside-down, please rotate the bowl 180 degrees, or until the Eatwell logo is right-side up and facing the user from the opposite side of the bowl.
- Eatwell Assistive Bowls may be more effective when there is a high color contrast between the bowl and the background setting (tablecloth, table top).
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was started in Sep. 2010 in San Francisco and was first delivered to the market in Dec. 2015 to people in need all over the world.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
The set is dishwasher safe, microwave safe, BPA, Phthalate, and PVC free. It has passed FDA and EU testing as well.
The set is made out of PP, TPE, silicone, and stainless steel.
To keep the color scheme design, we use two molds to cast two PP parts and over-molded these two parts together to make the main body of a bowl in two colors. We over-molded the third part in TPE as the base of the bowl to make it anti-spill.
We also use PP over-mold TPE to make the two cups.
We use stainless steel for the head and neck of the spoons to prevent cracking.
To add some weight to the spoons, we embed the base of the stainless steel spoon in a silicon handle.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
8-piece packaging 1: 20.5cm by 20cm by 14cm
4-piece packaging 2: 20.5cm by 20cm by 9cm
assisted tableware, empower disabled,health care, dementia eating, caregiving, assistive devices, alzheimer's tableware, eating disorder, senior care
It was a four-year process. I interviewed professionals in the senior industry to help develop ideas on what can be done. I drew sketches and defined potential areas to work on. I made my decision to focus on improving the eating experiences of people with Alzheimer's since caregivers told me they think eating is very basic and important. To help with my research, I did one on one observation as well as volunteered in adult day care centers. Along the way, I had many opportunities to come in contact with people who work with people with Alzheimer's directly. I did more than one hundred mock-ups and asked my target users to give me feedback. In addition, research conducted by Boston University that found solid brightly colored tableware sets to be effective in reducing visual confusion supplemented my own empirical discoveries.
I am not a senior and had to become very knowledgeable about the disease before I could really even begin to design something for this purpose. In addition, it was sometimes a challenge to get feedback from people who actually have cognitive impairment. I did one-on-one observation as test users used early mock-ups and prototypes, and talked to many caregivers, professionals, to get feedback and to keep revising the design. There are many things that were taken into consideration. The color, the size, the shape, the usage. I tried to break down all of the smaller problems people with these challenges may have and to address each of those problems through my design.
For example, the bottom of the bowls are slanted to allow the users to gather food on one side of the bowl naturally, to make scooping easier. One side of the bowls is right angled and is designed to help collect the food into the spoon more easily Both spoon heads are designed to match the curvature of the bowls too, so the natural curves of the bowl can act as a guide for scooping
The handle of the spoon is designed to match the natural arc of the hand while holding a spoon.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Designer: Sha Yao and Legal: Dennis Lin
Image #1: Photographer Lucky Lu/ Sha Design LLC, 2014
Image #2: Photographer Lucky Lu/ Sha Design LLC, 2014
Image #3: Photographer Lucky Lu/ Sha Design LLC, 2014
Image #5: Photographer Lucky Lu/ Sha Design LLC, 2014
Patent pending. USA, and PCT
Copyrights belong to Sha Yao, 2010-now