Design for the elderly: Arthritis, Parkinson's and Visually Impaired
The Ability Cup solves problems people with physical disabilities face while working in the kitchen, specifically drinking. It addresses issues of each disability together such as tremor and spillage, unable to see the water level, joint pain etc.
I was inspired by my own experience with my grandparents. I realized they have common issues with physical disabilities. After further investigation, I found out not only that a huge population suffers from the same problem but also are looking for solutions. Especially for elders, taking medication and drinking water, even though specific, is a huge part of their lives. I wish to solve problems elders face on a daily basis: not being able to see water level when pouring hot drinks, spillage from tremor, joint pain.
How it works
An organic lid with an easy-to-feel opening for flow controlled drinking. The wooden dowel serves as a visual aid that floats when the cup is full. Users would be able to tell how much water is in the cup and lift the knob from the raised dowel if needed. The dent lid design allows nose space so users would not have to tilt their head in case of joint pain.
The cup includes a weighted bottom which reduces tremor for Parkinson's patients. I added rubber to the lower part for friction and shock absorbance when dropped. The cup is also has a tapered body for grip and a rounded lip for easier pouring and a more comfortable drinking experience.
The coaster with a magnet that keeps the cup stable and easy to aim while pouring.
Solutions that are commercially available do not consider multiple physical disabilities. Usually, they are aimed at fixing one specific type of disability. They do not consider that the user might be involved in more that one disability.
Also, available products are designed for medical equipment instead of daily use. Most important part of designing for disabilities is understanding the dignity factor: the need for help without giving up living norms. Understanding the users’ inability to perform like they use to, the features should be subtle and aesthetically pleasing while function for specific needs. Unfortunately, commercially available products are too childish, clumsy or abnormal for daily use. The ability cup went through multiple prototypes trying to satisfy both working features and a pleasing form.