My mother’s hands ached as she grew older. She stopped buying jars that were difficult to open, and foods that were too hard to cook.
There are cutting boards that hold the food so you can cut with more confidence, even while using just one hand. There slice-protection gloves to protect your fingers and hands while using a knife. There are devices to hold your pots steady on the stove, and to tell you when they have come to a boil. There are forks with large, rubber handles that are easier to hold. Angled utensils make it easier to bring food to your mouth even when you have a limited range of motion. High-wall plates give one-handed eaters a place to push food onto their forks and spoons.
I would find a fridge full of open airtight containers and unsealed Zip-Lock bags. I finally had to insist she stop cooking when I could see she was afraid of burning herself.
Cooking and eating are core to living independently. As her hands and eyes failed, so did her confidence she could remain independent in her own home. What we needed were some effective cooking and eating utensils to compensate for the disabilities that come with growing older.
I found some excellent devices to cooking and eating, and some that I would not recommend as well. Here is how to get help cutting, washing, boiling, and eating, even with the weaknesses that come with age.
Old Age Disabilities Increase Cooking Difficulties
We have to avoid kitchen accidents to maintain our independence in our own homes. Besides, avoiding a kitchen accident is much cheaper than cleaning up after one.
- Will a pot of boiling water slip from your weak hands?
- Will a knife slip and cut you if your hands are shaking?
- Will you get the spoon to your mouth if a stroke limited your range of motion?
Common disabilities affecting cooking and eating include:
- arm and hand weakness and pain
- low vision
- low hearing
- use of only one hand
- limited range of motion
Common disability causes include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
Common cooking and eating problems include:
- difficulty holding and using a knife
- keeping one’s hand steady while cutting
- inability to see the measuring spoon size
- inability to wash, cut, and stir food
- inability to get a fork or spoon to the mouth
How Kitchen Gadgets Help You Stay in Your Home
I found tools and gadgets to make it easier to cook and eat, even with the disabilities of old age. Disabilities increase the chance of burning or cutting oneself. These gadgets make cooking safer and eating easier.
If you are unable to cook, your food gets more expensive. It is fine if you can afford a cook, and you want to offload that job. Otherwise, losing the ability to cook is losing a big piece of your independence. Cooking and eating are two of the “activities of daily living” that can make or break your ability to live in your own home.
Part of staying independent in your own home is deciding what to eat, and when to eat it. You get to choose your food. You get to choose when you eat. If disabilities and deficits limit your cooking and eating, then they push you closer to dependent rather than independent living.
How Weakness, Arthritis Limit Us in the Kitchen
The kitchen is the most dangerous room in the home. There are open flames, hot surfaces, and sharp objects. There are heavy pots, scalding food, and boiling liquids. From breaks to burns, too many things can go wrong to just “wing it” in the kitchen.
Weakness, arthritis pain and forgetfulness increase your chances of getting hurt in the kitchen. Spilling a pot of boiling water can be the last accident you have before you move to a nursing home.
Now add the frustration of opening packages and cans. These can be difficult to open even when we have all of our healthy abilities. Pull-tab cans are almost impossible with arthritis. Manual can openers require both hands to set up, and good squeezing ability to use. Plastic bottles are now so thin that they twist instead of the cap you are trying to remove. Paper cartons are more likely to spill for the same reason.
Do not get me started on the plastic film that covers food in plastic containers. It is almost impossible to see, and there is not enough of it hanging over the side to get a firm grip on it. Jars that used to be hard to open are that much harder with aching or weak hands.
It is too easy to make a mess, and too frustrating to open packages with sore hands, or a limited range of motion.
So it makes sense to get help with jar lids and heavy pots that stand between you and getting something to eat in your own home.
Kitchen Tools are Made for the Young
The tools we use to measure are not that friendly to the eyes. I’ve already thrown away all my measuring spoons and cups that feature white on white embossed numbers. Seriously? White on white embossed numbers? Even excellent eyes have difficulty with that design.
Many can openers and jar openers require strength to use. They were designed by young men with big hands and perfect eyesight. Not to mention that so many things are badly made knock offs. These break too easily, and too soon.
Kitchen Gadgets that Help Your Hands
Here are some solutions that augment weak hands, and relieve the need to squeeze achy joints. They will allow you to stay independent longer because you will be able to keep cooking the foods you love.
Achy and weak hands make it difficult to squeeze tools and food. A stroke can limit your range of motion, or the use of a hand. (Unfortunately there are few to no tools to supplement the loss of both hands.) From stiff and achy joints, all the way to full-blown arthritis, having hand problems causes big difficulties in the kitchen.
Adaptive Jar Openers
If you cannot grip with your hands, you are not going to be able to open jars. A common problem is not being able to hold the jar while turning the lid. Opening a jar is difficult with arthritic hands. It is almost impossible using just one hand.
Here are some gadgets that help you open jars with limited hand functionality.
The “V” Form Jar Gripper
The “V” Form Jar gripper acts as a second hand when opening jars. It is a counter top device shaped in the form of a letter “V.” The angle allows it to help open many jar sizes. A gripping rubber strip lines the inside, holding the jar as you turn the lid.
To use the “V” form type of jar gripper, you push the jar into the device until the sides firmly surround the jar. This stabilizes the bottom of the jar, allowing you to turn the lid with one hand.
One example of the “V” form is the Solo Grip One-Handed Jar Opener. This is a great solution. Obviously, anyone can find benefit from a product like this because sometimes you just need that extra grip on the jar.
Solo Grip Jar Openers Pros
- The “V” shape provides an “extra hand” for those with the use of only one hand
- It can be used with other jar opening tools (as described below)
- Unlike the under-the-cabinet solution (described below), the Solo Grip doesn’t require you to hold the jar up
- It is small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer
Solo Grip Jar Openers Cons:
- The Solo-Grip might not work so well with flimsy plastic containers because it needs pressure to hold the container in place
- “V” openers might not accommodate gigantic jars
The Under-Cabinet Jar Gripper
The under-cabinet jar gripper is popular even with people who have use of both their hands. This gadget is similar to the “V” jar opener in its shape. In this case, you place the lid into the device, not the jar. You mount this gadget under a cabinet.
The EZ Off Jar Opener is a good example of an under-cabinet jar gripper.
EZ Off Jar Opener Pros
- The under-cabinet jar opener gadget holds the lid while you turn the jar, solving the “one handed” jar opening problem
- You can hold the jar with a hand-held silicone gripper
- The device is accessible, but also out of the way.
EZ Off Jar Opener Cons:
- You need to install it with a couple of screws. Some people might not be able to do this on their own
- It requires you to hold the jar up while turning. Those lacking strength might find this hard for heavier jars
- You can’t use a rubber gripping pad on the lid for more leverage
Silicone and Rubber Jar Opener Grippers
Silicone and rubber grippers help weaker hands hold the jar or lid in place. Usually you use grippers to hold the lid, but you can use one on the lid and another on the jar. You hold the jar or lid with a large disc of gripping material and voila, no more lids slipping through your grip.
Some grippers are just flat discs. The cone-shaped grippers give you more surface area (and therefore strength) to apply to the jar lid. The LCZX gripper package contains both flat and cone jar openers.
You will usually find jar grippers sold in sets. You can use one on the counter, to stabilize the jar, and a second gripper on the jar lid.
LCZX Rubber Grippers Pros
- Totally basic no moving parts
- Easy to store
- The cheapest solution available
LCZX Rubber Grippers Cons
- Still requires strength
- Not a solution for one-handed opening
- Heat and sunlight will degrade material over time
- Some materials are grippier than others
Mechanical Leverage Jar Openers
Mechanical leverage jar openers are probably what you think of when you picture a jar opener in your mind. It consists primarily of a longer handle with some kind of jaw-like end that grips the jar lid. The leverage comes from the longer handle that provides a mechanical advantage. The longer the handle, the less force you need to provide to open the lid.
You still need to hold the jar however, so you might consider complimenting a mechanical opener with a Solo Grip or a silicone/rubber pad to help steady the jar.
With its rubber feet that lock onto the jar lid, the Kuhn Rikon “The Gripper” increases the mechanical leverage over some other designs. The Gripper has three rubber feet that you hover over the jar lid. Then you turn a wing nut to lock the feet onto the lid. The rubber feet add leverage in addition to the leverage coming from the handle. This gives assistance to weaker hands. The only downside is that it might be too small for some larger jars.
“The Gripper” Jar Opener Pros
- The lever amplifies the force you provide
- Reduce the squeezing and gripping you must do
“The Gripper” Jar Opener Cons:
- The mechanical handle design is might be too small for larger jars
- This device design requires two hands to open jars
- Some designs within this category require squeezing the handle
Vacuum Break Jar Openers
The Vacuum Break jar openers break this vacuum seal, making it much easier to remove the jar’s lid.
A Danish engineer invented the Brix Jarkey jar opener to help his arthritic mother. Many arthritis organizations endorse this jar opener.
It is important to remember that you are not prying off the lid. You are simply getting under the lid and prying enough to break the vacuum seal. You use this device the first time you open the jar. It will not help if the jar is stuck shut because the contents sealed the edge.
Brix Jarkey Jar Opener Pros
- The Vacuum Break design requires little strength
- They are very small, and so fit in a drawer
- They break the vacuum seal to solve the stuck lid problem
Brix Jarkey Jar Opener Cons:
- The Vacuum Break design might require some dexterity to get under some lids
- Not all stuck lids respond to breaking the vacuum seal
- This design does not help with stuck on lids
- This is not a one-handed solution
Handheld Electric Jar Openers
To use the handheld electric jar opener, place it over the lid, and press a button. The Vooco Electric Jar Opener is a perfect example of how simple this type of solution can be. Many manufacturers create this design, probably because it is superior to all other methods.
You place the Vooco jar opener over the lid, and press the button. The Vooco presses two rubber arms against the jar body. Then it spins the lid to open it. It’s the best solution for every type of disability we’ve discussed, including arthritis, achiness, weakness, and one-handed use.
Vooco Electric Jar Opener Pros
- The handheld electric jar opener is an almost effortless solution
- These are great for one-handed operation
- They fit most normal jars
Vooco Electric Jar Opener Cons:
- This works only on a some jar sizes
- You still need to hold some jars to stabilize the operation
- Handheld electric jar openers often will not work plastic or tapered jars
- They are more expensive than mechanical devices
- They need 2 AA batteries
Adaptive Can Openers
Canned food was invented in the early 1800’s. The earliest can opener was a hammer and chisel. The can opener as we know it today with the crank and round blade has been with us since around 1920. This handheld and non-electric can opener design requires too much strength for weak or arthritic hands. Most require two hands to use.
The most popular improvement on the handheld design is the counter top electric can opener. Place the can under its blade and magnet, snap the handle closed, and push a button to open the can.
The electric can opener is a great improvement over the hand-held manual type. I just don’t think it’s the best choice for people with arthritis, hand weakness, or for one-handed use. That prize goes to the handheld battery-powered can opener, which I recommend for one-handed use and weak hands alike.
Handheld Battery-Powered Can Openers
The handheld, battery powered design works best for people with aching hands, weak hands, limited range of motion, and tremors. The handheld can opener requires only one hand to operate. It’s easy to use. It leaves no sharp edges on the can or lid.
I think everyone should have a battery-powered can opener like the W-Dragon Electric Can Opener. It excels at reducing the work involved in opening a can. It is easier and safer than every other can opener design.
W-Dragon Electric Can Opener Pros
- Truly effortless functionality
- It is easy to use with one hand
- It does not require normal strength
- The open can and lid have dull edges
- The lid doesn’t drop into the food
W-Dragon Electric Can Opener Cons
- It needs batteries
- It takes up to a minute to open a can
- There are competing models that seem identical so it is hard to differentiate
Plug in Electric Can Openers
Electric can openers have been around for quite some time. The counter top electric can opener is a good choice for someone with weak or aching hands. Some manufacturers brag that their electric can opener is especially good for arthritis users. However, these can opener designs are no different from the competition’s designs.
Plug in Electric Can Openers Pros
- Easy to use
- No batteries required
- It is better than a manual can opener for weak hands
Plug in Electric Can Openers Cons
- It requires electricity
- It takes up counter space
- It can be pricey
- It requires two hands to load the can
Pull Tab Pullers
If you remember opening a can of sardines with that key that you had to turn, then you know why pull-tabs are a welcome invention. Key cans required twisting, hand strength, and a strong grip with both hands.
Pull tops replaced key cans, greatly reducing the hand strength requirements to open these cans.
Pull top rings are not without their problems however. It can be hard to get a finger under the ring. They can hurt your fingers when you pull. In addition, if you have fingernails…
Pull-tab pullers like the Kole Ki Ring Pull Can Opener are a simple to use and inexpensive solution to these problems. The Kole Ki uses leverage to pry open the ring. It requires little effort. However, it does require two hands to use. We have yet to find a one-handed pull-top puller.
Kole Ki Can Opener Pros
- It is easy to use
- It is inexpensive
Kole Ki Can Opener Cons
- The lever might not fit under really tight pull rings
- The device requires two hands to operate
Adaptive All-in-One Jar, Can and Bottle Openers
One device can open cans, bottles and jars. That’s the Black & Decker Lids Off.
Black & Decker Lids Off
Be aware that the top of the Lids Off needs to be lifted to fit the jar inside. This might make one-handed operation more difficult than a device like the Vooco electric jar opener. You need to be able to pull the Lids Off top up to put the jar inside. Having said that, the Lids Off is very popular with people who have arthritis, even in both hands.
Note that the Black & Decker JW200 is a jar opener, and does not open bottles or cans.
Black & Decker Lids Off Pros
- Useful for people with weak hands, tremors, and low vision
- Useful for people limited to using one hand
- Removes can lids, jar lids, and metal bottle tops
Black & Decker Lids Off Cons
- Does not remove pull tab lids
- The top may be too difficult to lift up for some
- It’s expensive
- It takes room on the counter
- It requires electricity
Adaptive Kitchen Gadgets for Washing Food
I couldn’t find any washing devices for weak and arthritic hands. There are some good sink brush options for one-handed cooks.
Baronic Triple Bar Glass Brush
In reality, it is probably more versatile than that. It will help clean anything you can stick between those bristles. You could even lightly scrub some veggies, although the bristles might not be stiff enough for potatoes.
This type of brush comes in a few configurations. There are different length brushes, side brushes, one brush and two brush designs. They are useful for one-handed dish washing, and for people who have difficulty with grasping a sponge.
Baronic Triple Bar Glass Brush Pros
- Requires only one hand to use
- Four suction cups holds the three brushes to sink
- Useful for cleaning glasses, bottles, cups, and dishes
- Allows one-handed glass cleaning
- Inside and outside of glass cleaned at the same time
Baronic Triple Bar Glass Brush Cons
- Some users wished for stiffer bristles
Ableware One Handed Vegetable Brush
The Ableware One Handed Vegetable Brush has two suction cups that stick the brush to your sink. Once you get past the idea that you can clean your nails, dentures and vegetables with the same tool, you should definitely get one. Or get one brush for each task. Put one or two in the kitchen sink, and one or two in the bathroom sink.
Because the bristles are stiffer than the bottle brush bristles, the Ableware brush is good at scrubbing potatoes. The Ableware is useful for one-handed vegetable scrubbing, for people with tremors, and with arthritis.
Ableware One Handed Vegetable Brush Pros
- Useful for people with one hand, aching hands, and with tremors
- Requires only one hand to use
- Two suction cups hold the brush to the sink
- Can brush vegetables under running water
Ableware One Handed Vegetable Brush Cons
Adaptive Measuring Gadgets
I couldn’t make out the size on my measuring spoon even when my eyesight was good. While I like the idea of color-coding measuring spoons, the system breaks down with a big set. Out of eight spoons, which one is 1/4 again? The spoons and cups below are actually intended for children and campers, respectively. But the spoons are good for low vision cooks. And the cups are good for both low vision and arthritic cooks.
The Curious Chef Measuring Spoons
I like the 6-spoon Curious Chef measuring spoon set because it offers both colors and large numbers to indicate size. The sizes are 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 teaspoon; and 1/2 and 1 tablespoon. The measuring sizes are written in white onto a background color. The color repeats going up the spoon handle. This is a good measuring spoon set for people with low vision.
Curious Chef Measuring Spoon Pros
- Useful for people with low vision
- They are different colors
- They have large numbers
Curious Chef Measuring Spoon Cons
- They might not be easier to grasp for people with hand problems
- The colors could be a bit brighter
SmartKook Silicone Measuring Cups
The SmartKook Measuring Cups might be intended for campers, but their extra large grips and bold colors make them adaptive as well. These measuring cups are useful for people with low vision and arthritis or grasping issues.
These cups are made of silicone, a wonderful material that withstands high temperatures and is easy on the hands. The cups pop up for use, and fold down, making them flat for storage. The grip is rubbery and non-slip. The cups are four colors, one for each 1 1/2, 1/3, and 1/4 cup. There’s an extra set of black and red cups that come with the package. I would buy it just for the silicone colorful cups.
SmartKook Measuring Cups Pros
- These are good for people with low vision and grasping issues
- Know the cup size from its color
- Easy grip silicone handles
- Fold flat in storage
SmartKook Measuring Cups Cons
- Missing a 3/4 cup (but you can always measuring out 1/2 and 1/4 each)
Click the following link to Amazon if you would like to get your SmartKook Measuring Cups.
Adaptive Cutting Boards and Bread Slicers
With a regular cutting board, you use one hand to hold the food, and the other to hold the knife. One type of adaptive cutting board holds food for you as you cut it. A “food holding” cutting board holds the food on spikes or in a vise. It is helpful for people with tremors, hand aches, and the use of only one hand. It can be helpful to people with low vision. This type of board is safer for people with two hands, as the food-holding hand is away from the knife. However, the spikes that hold the food are sharp, which can be a danger for some types of users.
Etac One-Handed Paring Board
The Etac Deluxe One-Handed Paring Board with Rocker Knife offers both a vise and spikes to hold food as you cut it. Food spikes are useful for one-handed cutting but are dangerous if you don’t have good motor control. The vise can hold food or a prep bowl between its two panels. Plant food into the spikes to keep it still while cutting it. Four suction feet also keep the board still.
The Etac Paring Board comes with a rocker knife. Place this on the food and rock the knife backward and forward for one-handed cutting. You don’t need to lift the knife to slice. The blade rocks into and out of the food.
Etac One-Handed Paring Board Pros
- Helpful for people with one hand, weak hands, and small tremors
- Holds food in vise and on spikes
- Four suction feet hold board on counter
- Comes with one-handed rocker knife
- Vise holds bowls as well as food
Etac One-Handed Paring Board Cons
- Some bowls slip upward in vise
- Some users had difficulty with suction cups holding board to counter
- Spikes can be dangerous
Parsons ADL Cutting Board
Cutting boards aren’t just for slicing food. You can use a board like the Parsons ADL Cutting Board for tasks like buttering bread with one hand. The Parsons board has walls on two sides. The little walls stabilize the food as you prepare it. The Parsons board also has one set of three food spikes. These hold food for one-handed cutting, but can be dangerous for people with tremors. This board also has four suction feet to hold it in place.
Parsons Cutting Board Pros
- Helpful for people with one hand, weak hands, and small tremors
- This board is especially popular with one-handed cooks
- Walls hold food for one-handed preparation
- Suction cups prevent board from moving
- Spikes stabilize food for cutting
Parsons Cutting Board Cons
- Spikes can be dangerous
- Some users find walls too high to prepare food
- Some users found suction cups to be too strong
The Bagel Guillotine includes an integrated slicing blade. This makes it a stable cutting device, if only for bagels. It’s a container with a guillotine style blade. The blade slices the bagel when you push the device downward. The Bagel Guillotine is also good for people with low vision, as well as those with weak or arthritic hands.
Bagel Guillotine Pros
- Useful for people with tremors and low vision
- Knife is not required to cut the bagel
- Handles large bagels
Bagel Guillotine Cons
- Not for one-handed use
- Be careful when cleaning the device
Magigo Bread Slicer
The Magigo Nature Bamboo Foldable Bread Slicer is variation on the knife guide. It is a box with multiple slots. Each slot represents a slice of bread. You can change the distance between slot guards to make small, medium, or large thickness slices. The slicer has a crumb tray that turns into a serving tray, and 20 serving bags with twist ties.
Magigo Bread Slicer Pros
- Useful for weak hands, tremors, and low vision
- Slots guide the knife as you slice
- Has three bread sizes
- Folds for storage
Magigo Bread Slicer Cons
- Is not for one-handed use
- Sometimes fails to cut the bottom of the loaf
- Soft wood is easy to slice
Cut resistant gloves have been a staple in the meatpacking and processing industry for quite some time. In recent years, they have made their way to consumers. It only takes a careless moment with a slippery veggie or an angry cheese grater to create a kitchen disaster.
Make sure you are getting food grade cut proof or cut resistant gloves with level 5 protection. There are other work gloves that are cut proof, but I always look for food grade materials so I feel comfortable getting it near my food.
You can find cheap cut-resistant gloves, and chain mail gloves costing 10 times as much. You can also find some that come in different colors to separate meat cutting from veggie and fruit cutting.
Regardless of which ones you choose, make sure you use the ones you get for kitchen work only for cutting food. You don’t want to contaminate your gloves with non-food related material. Also, keep in mind that these gloves are not puncture proof. It protects you if the blade slices against the glove. It does not protect you if the tip of the knife slips into the glove.
Kibaron Cut Resistant Gloves
The Kibaron is a good choice for a pair of cut resistant kitchen gloves. They are machine washable and offer a good snug fit. They have a sizing chart so you can ensure the proper fit. The proper fit ensures that your gloves don’t impede your dexterity, or leave extra fabric at the ends of your fingers making it more difficult to work. These gloves are designed for kitchen work but you can use them for anything. My only suggestion would be that you dedicate one pair to the kitchen so you don’t introduce potentially harmful elements from other hobbies or projects into your food.
Kibaron Cut-Resistant Gloves Pros
- Especially helpful for people with tremors, but useful for anyone doing any cutting
- Protect hands from knife slices
- Good dexterity through the fabric
- Level 5 or EN 338 gloves are food safe
- Many gloves are machine washable
Kibaron Cut-Resistant Gloves Cons
- Generally cut-resistant gloves should not be put in the dryer
- Gloves in this category protect against slices but not against punctures
Dexter Right Angle Knife
Right angle knives help people whose wrists get achy from chopping food. This Dexter-Russell right angle knife allows you to hold the knife in one position as you slice. It limits the amount of wrist action you need when chopping and slicing. It allows you to hold the knife at a right angle where your wrist is strongest. You avoid the awkward motion usually associated with cutting and chopping food. This is a very sharp knife. Be especially careful. At six inches, it might be a bit on the short side for larger items like watermelon, but it is perfect slicing roasts, halving cantaloupe, chopping carrots, and mincing parsley.
Dexter Right Angle Knife Pros
- Useful for people with a limited range of motion
- Useful for people with arthritis, finger, or wrist issues
- Can be extremely sharp
- Dishwasher safe
Dexter Right Angle Knife Cons
- Can be extremely sharp, both in use and in storage!
- Too short to cut large foods such as melons
A multi-food slicer holds many items so you can slice all of them with one cut. It saves on labor, helps to prevent injury, and increases the accuracy of your cut. The Rapid Slicer is one of the best examples of this kind of device.
The Rapid Slicer
The Rapid Slicer holds food between two places while you slice in the gap between them. It saves time slicing many small items like grapes and grape tomatoes. It protects fingers from the moving blade when slicing bagels, chops and chicken breasts. The guided knife movement makes your cuts more accurate.
This product is especially useful for people with tremors and hand weakness. The knife guide protects the user from the slicing action.
The down side is that it works best on smaller and flatter objects. It’s great for grape tomatoes, but won’t help you with a full size tomato. For that, you would want the Xunda Tomato and Lemon Slicer. This device guides your knife with several slicing slots.
Rapid Slicer Pros
- Slices multiple items with one pass
- Useful for people with tremors and weak hands
- Has suction feet to keep it in place
- Saves time
- Especially good at slicing small foods (grapes, cherry tomatoes…)
- Good for slicing chicken breast
- Adjusts itself to different food dimensions
- Dishwasher safe
Rapid Slicer Cons
- Requires two hands
- Not useful for larger food
KitchenAid Mezzaluna Rocker Knife
A Mezzaluna Rocker knife is a curved blade that you rock back and forth over the veggies to cut them. You need only one hand because the knife holds the veggie down as it rocks across it. It’s particularly good at cutting parsley, and leafy herbs and vegetables. But it cuts regular vegetables too, such as carrots. It’s not as good at cutting mushy vegetables such as tomatoes.
Some Mezzaluna knives have two or more blades. Some cooks like that, but some don’t. Either way a Mezzaluna can make short work of your chopping using only one hand.
KitchenAid Mezzaluna Pros
- Useful for people with only one hand, arthritis, or weak hands
- Extremely sharp
- Use on cutting board or in a bowl
- Chops and minces vegetables, herbs and nuts
- Saves time
- Stainless steel
- Dishwasher safe (but hand washing is recommended)
- Get one with a blade cover (sheath) for storage safety
KitchenAid Mezzaluna Cons
- Extremely sharp!
- Be extremely careful when putting sheath on, taking it off, and using this type of knife
Adaptive Kitchen Gadgets for Cooking Food
It’s not always easy to keep a pot steady while you’re stirring its contents. Carrying pots of hot liquid is dangerous. I’ve only managed to find a few items in this space that are worth talking about. I hope that we’ll get more stove safety devices as the population ages.
Uccello Kettle Tipper
The Uccello Kettle Tipper is an electric kettle that assists you in pouring the hot water. It has a counterbalanced tipping lever that swings the kettle into pouring position. You do not need to lift the kettle to pour from it.
The tip assistance is an old design that we are finally getting in America. This kettle is useful for people with one hand, with arthritis, and with tremors.
Uccello Kettle Tipper Pros
- Helpful for people with weakness, low vision, tremors, and limited range of motion
- Helpful for people using only one hand
- Greatly reduces the strength required to pour boiling water
- Stable base holds machine in place
- Has an anti-scale filter
Uccello Kettle Tipper Cons
- Uses electricity
- Takes space on the counter
The StayBowlizer holds a mixing bowl steady while your stir its contents. Many users describe it as “having a third arm” to stabilize bowls. People with trouble gripping, have use of only one arm, and arthritis find this gadget useful. It’s “like having a helper steady my bows.”
You can use the StayBowlizer as the top pot for double boiling. Some people put it in the bottom pot, and then put the top pot inside the StayBowlizer.
- Easily hold bowls in place on counter via suction
- Any size bowl will fit
StirMATE Smart Pot Stirrer
The StirMATE Pot Stirrer does the task of stirring for you. It’s useful for people with the use of one hand, arthritis, and tremors. It’s also helpful for people who don’t want to stand at the stove for extended periods. The StirMATE allows the cook to multitask while the device attends to the stove pot.
A rechargeable battery powers the spoon, so it is cordless while you are using it. The battery’s charge lasts about 13 hours. It takes about a half hour to charge.
The StirMATE clamps to the top of the pot. An arm holds the spoon over the middle and a motor stirs the spoon. Use it to stir onions, soups, rice dishes and sauces. It’s especially good at continuously stirring, so it’s a great device for roasting nuts and coffee beans. The spoon sweeps the bottom to avoid scorching.
The StirMATE works with pots between 6 and twelve inches in diameter, and between 3 and nine inches in depth.
While the Amazon description states that you can get a thermometer and pot size extension kit for this device, neither seems to be available for sale. Do a search after reading this article if these interest you, as we can’t link to them at the time of publication.
StirMATE Pot Stirrer Pros
- Good for people with tremors, who don’t want to stand, hand weakness, use of one arm, and arthritis
- Eliminates the need to attend to sauces and stews
- Allows for one handed no handed stirring
StirMATE Pot Stirrer Cons
- Not specifically designed as an assistive device
- May be overkill for some
- May be too expensive to be worth it for some
- Do not use while plugged in. Wait for battery to charge and use it cordless.
Sammons Preston Pan Holder
The Sammons Pan Holder can be a big help in preventing spills and injuries. It holds a pot handle in place on the stove. You attach it to the stove top with suction cups. Place the arms where you want the pot handle to stay. Put the Pan Holder arms around the two arms.
The caveat with this device and others like it is that not all pot handles are the same. This device works best with a standard two Qt pot with a long handle. Also, remember that the rubber suction cups will melt if they get too hot.
Sammons Pan Holder Pros
- Assists one-handed cooks
- Stabilize pot while stirring
- Suction cups secure gadget to stove top
- Prevents spilling hot pot contents
- Adjustable to different pan sizes
Sammons Pan Holder Cons
- Skinny handles might not work with this device
- Place suction cups as far from heat as is practical
- Ensure bolts are tight before using
Forks, knives and spoons can be difficult to grasp. The narrower the handle, the more difficult it is to grasp. One solution is to build out utensil handles with soft rubber.
Maddak Universal Built Up Handles
The Maddak Universal Built Up Handle is a set of four utensil handles. Household flatware fits in the handle ends. You can also use them to widen toothbrush and brush handles, to make them easier to grasp. The Maddak handles are soft rubber rings that make household object handles easier on the hands.
Maddak Built Up Handle Pros
- A good solution for weak and arthritic hands
- The handles are wide and soft, making them easier to grasp
- Dishwasher safe
- Can also be used with brushes and pens
Maddak Built Up Handle Cons
- People with tremors usually do better with weighted rather than lightweight handles
- Do not use handles with sharp knives
Scoop plates and bowls make it easier to eat with only one hand. Push the food onto the utensil using the side of the dish. They have higher sides than normal dishware. Some have suction cups on the bottom to prevent the dish from moving.
Sammons Preston Plates
Some good scoop plates include the Sammons Preston Hi-Lo Scoop Plate, and the Sammons Preston Partitioned Scoop Dish. The plate has one high, curved outer wall for pushing food onto a fork or spoon. The dish has partition walls to separate food and for utensil leverage.
Sammons Preston Plate Pros
- Helpful for one-handed eating and for people with tremors
- They prevent food spilling onto the table
- These plates are especially popular with blind eaters
- The Partition Plate separates food, which some people enjoy
Sammons Preston Plate Cons
- These plates do not have anti-slip suction cups
- Some eaters prefer larger plates
- Some eaters find the Partition Plate walls to be too short
People Also Ask
Are there any forks and knives for more severe tremors? Liftware offers two computerized utensil sets that adapt to tremors while eating. The Liftware Steady™ is a rechargeable, computerized handle. The handle accepts a fork, a knife, a soup spoon and a teaspoon. The Steady counteracts Parkinson’s and essential tremor movements.
What triggers arthritis pain? Overexertion, stress, infection, and poor sleep trigger Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation. Activity involving the joint triggers Osteoarthritis. Stress, skin injury, allergies and diet trigger Psoriatic Arthritis. These are only some of the triggers. To learn more, visit the Arthritis Foundation website.