January 14, 2014


While working at a residential facility for people with special needs, I saw just how hard it can be for some people to go about even the simplest task we often take for granted. For individuals who suffer from tremors, like those associated with Parkinson’s disease, even the normally enjoyable task of eating can be very trying. It’s hard even to watch as they struggle just with lifting a fork or a spoon to their mouths. Understand that these people are not stupid. They are intelligent, caring, passionate individuals who simply are forced to live with a condition that makes their lives harder. Talking about how cruel, how unfair, or how aggravating it is does not do any good. Life is unfair, and they know that better than anyone. This is why I am always very interested in seeing new technologies designed with them in mind. Finding ways of making their lives even the slightest bit easier can go a long way in improving their overall quality of living.

Today a friend of mind directed me to Liftware. Liftware is an eating utensil designed to help people who suffer from tremors. How does it work? Developed by LiftLabs, Liftware is designed with a special stabilizing sensor that detects the tremors in your hand and does its best to compensate for them as you lift the implement from your plate to your mouth. In effect, according to their tests, Liftware is able to reduce tremors by as much as 70 percent. Liftware has a durable battery life, is rechargeable, easy to carry with you wherever you go, easy to hold, and comes with multiple attachments such as forks, soup spoons, and more that are all dishwasher safe. All of these things can serve to help people who suffer from tremors enjoy the simple act of eating in a way that some of them might never have had before. Sure, to those of us who do not suffer from tremors, this may not sound like such an incredible invention, but just from my own experience in working with people who suffer from Parkinson’s and other tremor causing conditions, Liftware is truly remarkable. It is one of those inventions that I am surprised took this long to be made, as the idea behind it seems so simple.

Working with the developmentally challenged has changed my life, forever leaving an impact on me that is really hard to put into words. It gives you an appreciation for things you might not have ever considered before, such as the ability to sit down to a nice, simple meal with your family without having to worry about how difficult it is to get your fork into your mouth. Things like Liftware are truly modern miracles in my opinion, and I am not just saying that as a clever tie-in to this column. This is technology that is doing what technology is meant to do: make people’s lives easier. Sure, it may not seem as impressive as super-powered outer space telescopes or real-life cloaks of invisibility strait out of science fiction and fantasy, but this is technology that can truly make people’s lives better, and that is saying something.

Image Credit: LiftLabs

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