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Difficulties with food preparation

IsabelPIsabelP Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi,

My name is Isabel, I am a Product design student at Middlesex University London. My group and I are currently researching the challenges encountered by disabled people when preparing food.

If you can spare two minutes to answer some questions to give me a better understanding of your experiences with this topic, that would be greatly appreciated!

If you feel comfortable, please provide your age, description of disability and how severely this effects you on a day to day basis.

Questions:

  • Can you please tell me about any problems you regularly face with food preparation

  • How you overcome these issues at present?

  • Give one (or more) examples of a problem that if solved would be highly beneficial regarding food preparation?

  • How often do you cook?

  • Would you be more likely want to cook if the challenges you faced were overcome via product/solution and your reasons why?  

Thank you for taking your time to read this, I look forward to your responses and trying to make a difference.  


Kind regards,
Isabel

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 128 Courageous
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • feirfeir Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    • Can you please tell me about any problems you regularly face with food preparation
    like the above i drop a lot of things.
    chopping is out of the question, cannot use a chopping knife.
    can't stand up long enough to prepare a meal anyway or watch a stove, leaning over on a chair also isn't feasible at this time.
    some things are hard to open, like ring pull tins, but i can use certain can openers and can still use kitchen scissors on packets.

    How you overcome these issues at present?Give one (or more) examples of a problem that if solved would be highly beneficial regarding food preparation?

    we got a microwave. it can set the time so if i can't get up the ready meal is unlikely to set on fire. and we got a toaster, toast is a meal now, lol.
    some tin openers are very easy to use, i'm also fine with eating tinned food cold as i know it's already been cooked (although i prefer warmed up food mostly).
    snacks, i eat mostly these if on my own.
    ready prepared frozen veg is good to use and add to other prepared foods.

    How often do you cook? Would you be more likely want to cook if the challenges you faced were overcome via product/solution and your reasons why?

    yeah i liked cooking for my family and miss doing that, used to work in catering also so know how to. our diet was healthier as i was preparing from scratch and don't add salt to foods, i'm aware most of the stuff we are eating is either tinned or ready made so has added ingredients i wouldn't put in if making it myself.
    i don't cook any more at this time but am more proactive in teaching my kids how to cook.
    i don't see a solution to my hand problems personally but if i could grip things that would be good. even if i could just prepare meals my kids could do the cooking with me overseeing them.
    .
    age 44.
    i have a lower lumbar disc bulge.also have extra bone growth on my cervical spine that is causing most of my issues like hand and finger numbness, an inability to keep grip of anything slightly heavy (like a 500g tub of butter), also lost most of my fine motor skills due to this.
    it's also caused mobility issues like pain in one hip and down one leg so i cannot stand for long and have to keep my back awkwardly straight all the time, pain in one shoulder most of the time that has gone into the other shoulder as i was relying on my one good arm to move around, sharp shooting and stabbing pains all over my body at random intervals.
    it effects me all the time now, the previous few years it only stopped me from carrying heavy things or using a handbag on my shoulder and my fine motor skills to a lesser degree.
    they're pretty sure i've got arthritis also, just waiting to see a specialist in april of this year (finally got an appointment after being fast tracked in oct last year)!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 128 Courageous
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 Pioneering
    I am 61. I suffer major disk collapses in the lower spine, currently in 8 discs, plus a cervical rupture in another. I suffer chronic pain down both legs, hips and lower back. I have a lack of mobility, hand issues such as dropping, slipping and lack of grip. Many other health and mental issues due to being ill for 12 years

    Questions:

    • Can you please tell me about any problems you regularly face with food preparation
    Problems hold and using kitchen tools and cutlery. Problems with carrying anything (use 2 sticks or risk falling over). Cant sit and bend forward so can only use a table. Even sitting becomes painful rapidly. Even microwaving a meal is often too much to cope with.
    • How you overcome these issues at present?
    Generally I don't. I often don't bother to eat or just snack once or twice a day on crisps, sweets, etc.
    • Give one (or more) examples of a problem that if solved would be highly beneficial regarding food preparation?
    Can't think of any.
    • How often do you cook?
    Almost never now
    • Would you be more likely want to cook if the challenges you faced were overcome via product/solution and your reasons why?  

    Can't think of anything and probably too much effort to try. I don't eat much anyway now.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • deexdeex Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Most meals are somthing on toast now, as I struggle so much with peeling any veg, left side weakness from stroke 5 years ago, I did buy a Gadget off amazon that peels veg put it doesn't always do it properly and takes ages to do it, and not always very well either, so usually give up and either choose a nicrowave meal, or something on toast as I said, or not bother eating anything at that time, because it feels like to much hard work, there isn't even much out there to buy to help and assist with these kind of issues,
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @IsabelP Thank you I would like to say.

    Question 1 Please I have problems chopping vegetables.  Opening tins.  Packets, jars.  Doing meals recipes.  Planning meals.  Holding knives so to eat.  Use not many plates.

    Question 2  I have a number of gadgets, kitchen equipment.  Such as blenders, food processors. mini choppers, hand wisk, hand blender.  Knives that are weighted at one end.  Tin opener, toaster, jug, slow cookers one small one medium one.

    Chopping vegetables, onions slicer in processor.  Chopping board with wet cloth on top with plastic chopping board on top.  To keep steady.  I have found number of useful tips.  I have a meal planner, black folder with itemised recipes.  Easy for me to follow.  I forgot what I am doing.  Jars have air in them so hit the top, air expelled the use tea towel to turn.

    Tin opener all tins.  Worst for me ring pulls but I turn tin upside down will open other end.  Also if can ring pull will not work upside down.  Into a bowl then use knife slowly pull up ring , peel back.  Any contents in to bowl.

    As I have disability of hands have learnt techniques to suit my disability.  Such as eggs use hand whisk, omelettes, etc.  Bowl on wet teatowel to steady it.

    Same with any hot surface pan handle, lid need a tea towel or oven gloves to prevent burns.

    Lifting pans worse for me.  So use drainer with a bowl inside to drain pasta, rice, noodles on hob.  Using slotted spoon.  Water cooled down then use oven gloves with tea towel inside for strength.

    Use like they do in some countries use fork and a spoon.  Have bowls instead of plates.

    Other things I use are zip bags for freezer meals and a good non defrosting freezer.

    Question 3  Make more use of kitchen gadgets and equipment.  I have found there is good and bad equipment on the market.  It is how the equipment that is designed that needs to change.  Make it easier for our community to be aware of what is available.

    Planning and budgeting are important for food preparation as well.

    Question 4  I cook every day.  Main meal is the evening one.  Make breakfast, brunch.  Evening Meal is the food of Southern Italy and the Med.

    Plus the food of Thai land on weekend.

    Questions 5  There is also a need to look at probable solutions for to get people eating more.  The recent markets on slowcookers and the similar ones that are out there.  Make people aware of how it can be simple to make and create food.  I myself have created a load of recipes for my own use.  From the Italian and Med cook book.  Less is more.  It is cooking but it is in my opinion not hard to do.  With my gadgets and kitchen equipment helps my solutions.  That could be the answer as well.

    I am 53 years old gentleman.  Have disabilities, mental problems genetic condition effects hands and feet, hearing eyesight.  Have had addiction history.  Been clean eleven years.

    Effects me motobility walking , keeping steady.  Gripping holding things.  Mental problems mainly anxiety and depression.  Can get stressed and anxious about food.  Need to be organised.  Forgetting things.

    Thank you I hope you get support best wishes
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
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