• A moistened paper towel placed under your plate will keep it from slipping on a formica tabletop.
  • The diameter of eating utensil handles can be increased with cylindrical foam (available as pipe insulation at DIY outlets).
  • A small rubber ball can be punctured so a knife, fork or spoon can be forced through.
  • Wide‑handled plastic mugs are easier to lift when all four fin­gers can be placed inside the handle. This way a firm grasp isn’t needed to hold and tip the cup toward the mouth. Inexpensive insulated mugs with wide handles can sometimes be purchased at sport shops, souvenir shops or supermarkets.
  • Lightweight plastic bowls are easier to handle than glass or ceramic dishes. A rubber mesh mat will keep them from slipping on the counter or in the lap.
  • A sport‑type plastic drink container often has a hole containing a straw in its cover which eases/allows access to its contents.
  • Annoying phlegm can be decreased by limiting the intake of dairy foods, but be sure to get your daily calcium quotient in other ways.
  • Suck crushed ice before eating if you have difficulty swallowing. It helps desensitise the gag reflex.
  • Where swallowing is difficult, a package of frozen peas placed on the front of the neck may prove of assistance by relax­ing muscle spasm.
  • When food gathers in the back of the mouth, tip the chin downward, not upward, to improve swallowing.
  • A little meat tenderiser, papaya or pineapple-juice on the back of the tongue will help to break up thick saliva and aid swallowing.
  • A damp dish towel wrapped around the base of a bowl will keep it from slipping on a smooth work top or tray.
  • A simple portable aid to help get the hand to the mouth can be made with any forearm support such as a flat length of wood or even split bamboo (with several slips of velcro tacked on to secure the arm) and attached in the middle on both sides with a pin to two large dowels which are fixed to a heavy wooden base. This forearm prop can be placed on a table where it acts like a seesaw, lifting the hand to the mouth when the elbow is dropped.
  • A soap holder which has multiple suction sup­ports makes an effective plate, glass or cup stabiliser. This gad­get can be purchased in most supermarkets or DIY shops.
  • An extra‑long plastic straw can be used to eliminate the need to lift a glass when drinking.
  • Pat Saunders drinking straws cost about £1.00 each and are designed to prevent the liquid from running back down the straw, making them useful for people with weak suction.
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