* This post is written by one of our volunteer content creators - it is not sponsored *
Daily living aids are usually small pieces of equipment used within the home to help people with disabilities live more independently. However, not every item lives up to their sales expectations. So the AYL team have teamed up to create a series of blog posts highlighting our favourite disability related products, starting with kitchen aids! As you will see, many of the items listed below are constructed using simple designs, yet they all have the power to make life a little easier, whether you are opening bottles or chopping vegetables.
(Priced At £20.00 To £25.99 Depending On Place Of Purchase)
What a genius idea! Why isn’t everything I own motorised? As someone with weak wrists that regularly damage themselves, I simply cannot operate a regular tin opener. They also break and get rusty quickly, so there was no going back once I discovered this three in one device. I particularly love that I no longer have to faff around for 20 minutes trying to open a tin whilst my onions charcoal themselves!
How It Works:
Once plugged into the wall, simply lift the black handle whilst hovering your tin/can underneath. The magnet within the machine will then stick to the tin, bringing it close enough for the blade to cut. The mechanical rotating system means the tin spins until the whole circumference is perfectly cut. Whilst the magnet holds onto the lid of the tin until you manually slide it off, preventing you from cutting yourself on metal tin lids! A bonus feature is the discrete bottle opener and electric knife sharpener, both of which frequently come in handy and save you from having multiple devices with different purposes.
This product may seem like a luxury to some, but for someone with reduced motor skills, it is brilliant. I no longer have to wait around or plan to ensure someone can open a tin for me. So perhaps an elderly person who would benefit from being able to open a tin of soup in between care visits would also love this! The only downside is that it isn’t quiet, so it may not be suitable for people with sensory processing issues!
(Priced At £18.00 To £21.99 Depending On Place Of Purchase)
Chopping fruits and vegetables has never been easier! After getting tired of someone else having to chop up my vegetables and in turn, preventing me from cooking in my own time, I tried several different vegetable choppers. Yet my weakened grip made it impossible to assemble the products, and take them apart for cleaning. Thankfully I discovered this version and now question why I didn’t buy one sooner!
How It Works:
Simply place a piece of veg on the stainless steel blade and push the lid down until you hear a click. Open the lid back up and repeat, it’s really that easy! Hidden features include a raised edge around the cutting area to keep food in place, a non-slip base to provide stability and a lightweight lid to create efficient chopping in one easy motion. There is also a convenient opening on the back for easy pouring, along with a detachable grid that makes it is easy to clean between the blades.
People of all abilities or with swallowing difficulties, as everything is cut into super small cubes. It also makes it easy to hide fruits and vegetables in a meal for young picky eaters.
(Priced At £8.99 To £13.99 Depending On Place Of Purchase)
This is a nifty contraption! This colander can be used like any other, whether you are washing fruit or straining pasta. But it isn’t just a colander, this folds up to the depth of a chopping board so it can be easily stored away. Something I particularly appreciate, as we all know the struggle of ‘that kitchen cupboard’ with all our pans and strainers! You can also adjust the handle length to adapt to any sink size and use it hands-free!
How It Works:
Push the section with holes down to create a bowl-like shape and pull the handles out! The main bowl is a little stiff so I use my fist, but you could always use a utensil to push it down if you didn’t have enough strength. Then you are ready to use it like any normal colander or sieve, and I mean if you’ve never used a sieve or colander before then I’d love to know how you drain your pasta?
Pasta lovers, vegetable growers, rice spillers and everyone in between. It may be considered expensive in comparison to other colanders, it's so worth it to make cooking a little more accessible!
(Priced At £1.99 To £7.00 Depending On Place Of Purchase)
This product was not purchased to be used as a ‘disability aid’, but it was immediately apparent how much easier I would find it in comparison to a regular whisk. Typically my wrists seize from the pain caused by quick repetitive movements, causing me to drop the whisk and/or spill the contents I was mixing.
How It Works:
Once the whisk is upright in a mixing bowl and your hand is on the top, this clever design turns one quick push into multiple whisking movements. And unlike bulky electric whisks, it's quick, simple, and easy to clean. No messy wires to deal with or heavy contraptions to lift!
Regardless of your ability, this is a must have for hot chocolate lovers, omelette eaters or meringue makers as the ingredients mix so evenly, creating a smoother/fluffier/whipped mixture!
(Priced At £3.50 To £4.99 Depending On Place Of Purchase)
Another simple yet effective design. Even though I use this product most days, I don’t consciously think about being an ‘aid’. Yet aid is something that reduces pain, increases independence and makes life easier, which this certainly does! Because of this, you will always find a spare in my handbag, so I can open a can or unscrew and lid by myself in public. It also works perfectly on makeup bottles, nail polishes, tinned foods and jars. The ergonomic design is well thought out, as it is easy to handle and offers a firm grip between the opener and your hand, even when wet!
How It Works:
Each of the different functions is easy to operate. When opening a bottle, simply lay it flat on top of your lid and the inside will automatically grip onto the edge of the lid. You then twist the handle round twice and the lid comes right off! Alternatively, the tearing, pulling, turning and twisting actions are just as self-explanatory and easy to complete!
Along with reduced dexterity, this item is great for people with dyspraxia, motor/neurological conditions and young children. It’s also perfect for people with active lifestyles who need a little help whilst on the go!
During lockdown, I have acquired a new method of not buying anything unless it makes me smile. But I can honestly say I have never had so much excitement surrounding kitchen aids! Each item was designed to make life easier and they all did just that! Although I’m sure you can agree that together these items only cover a small portion of the kitchen, so don't forget to check out part two of this series!