Products designed to make eating and drinking easier for people as dementia progresses

A panel of people with dementia in Newport told us what they thought of products designed to help with eating and drinking.

Read this story in Welsh

We took a selection of products to a group of people with dementia in south Wales to get their opinions about them. 

Newport’s Dementia Voice local group meets monthly to share their views and to influence what Alzheimer’s Society and others are doing.

We wanted to know what they thought of products that have been designed to make it easier to eat and drink. 

Tilt-to-pour kettle 

Uccello’s Tilt-to-pour kettle is for anyone who struggles with gripping or lifting weight. You don’t have to lift the kettle out of its stable cradle to fill it or pour it, though you can if you want to. 

‘It’s really pretty,’ said Trixie when she saw it. ‘I really like that!’ 

The kettle comes in black and white, all black and all white, but group members particularly liked the red and white version.

Tilt-to-pour Uccello kettle

Tilt-to-pour Uccello kettle.

‘You see red, it stands out,’ said Diane. 

Mavis said she’d prefer it if it had a flat heating element, though she added, ‘It’s a good idea for someone who has problems using an ordinary kettle.’ 

The group agreed the price (£49.96 plus VAT) was good value. ‘Most kettles are about that,’ said Ian, who was also reassured by the two-year warranty. 

Diane said, ‘It’s the difference between having a cup of tea or coffee and not having one because you’re frightened.’ 

Cups and glasses 

We showed the group a prototype ceramic mug from Lifemax, which has a lid and a layer that keeps its contents warm. Its bottom also sticks to flat surfaces using suction. 

Although people liked the idea of their hot drink not going cold if they forget it’s there, it was too hard to pick the mug up once it was stuck to the surface – something that we’ll feed back to its designers! 

The Unbreakable mug, from Find, comes in yellow or blue and with or without a lid that you can drink through.

It’s made from lightweight but hard-wearing melamine. 

People liked the look and feel of it, though some worried about being able to get the lid off.

Mike said, ‘With my hands, I wouldn’t be able to take it off.’ 

Group members were impressed by the Handycup from Able2, which is angled so you don’t have to tilt your head back and has a large base for stability. 

‘It’s a fantastic product, well balanced,’ said Ian. ‘Can’t tip it at all, lid’s easy to take off.’ 

Diane said, ‘It’s quite attractive, and bright enough for someone to see it.’

Handycup and Noseycup

Handycup and Noseycup.

Able2’s Noseycup was also a hit, with its rim shaped to make room for your nose without having to move your head back. 

‘I’d still tip it out!’ joked Shirley, after accidentally trying it the wrong way around, though it worked otherwise. 

As with some other specially designed products, you don’t have to pay VAT on most of these if they’re for use by a person with dementia – tick the box stating you’re eligible for VAT relief at our online shop’s checkout. 

Trixie said, ‘It’s perfect, isn’t it?’ 

Find’s Unbreakable wine glass and beer glass are shatterproof and dishwasher safe. 

Mavis said, ‘They look good, you wouldn’t know they were plastic.’ 

Diane noted that plastic can get scratched after repeated washes, but Claire from our shop said none had been returned over the years we’ve sold them. 

Crockery and cutlery 

Find’s melamine dinner plates, side plates and bowls are yellow or blue, making it easier to see your food, and their raised rims help to reduce spills. 

Billy said, ‘I like them, it is like ceramic.’

Find crockery and Unbreakable mug

Find crockery and Unbreakable mug.

Diane agreed, ‘They’re a nice weight without being heavy – sometimes these things can be so light they feel like a frisbee!’ 

Ian thought the prices were ‘a bit steep’ but added, ‘It’s essential, isn’t it? I’d buy it.’ 

Good Grips knives, forks, dessertspoons and teaspoons, from Able2, have soft cushion grips that keep them in hand, even when wet. 

Good Grips cutlery

Good Grips cutlery.

‘Unbelievable, very good,’ said Trixie. ‘It’s light, isn’t it?’ 

‘I’ve got two sets of these,’ said Ian.

‘If I go to a restaurant or on holiday, then I take my own. I recommend these – 12 out of 10 for anyone with problems gripping.’ 

Mavis said, ‘They’re expensive but they’re really solid, aren’t they?’ 

We also showed the group Able2’s Henro-grip knives, forks and spoons. These have curved handles to make best use of forearm strength. 

People were pleased the forks and spoons come in left- and right-handed versions. Their unusual appearance prompted a lot of comment though. 

Henro-grip cutlery

Henro-grip cutlery.

Billy said, ‘If you threw it away, it’d come back!’ 

‘I wouldn’t entertain them,’ said Mavis. ‘My children would look at me and think I’d gone mad.’ 

However, she added, ‘I can see it would be easier to use them.’ 

Billy agreed, ‘Yes, for people who need them.’ 

Prices (correct at December 2022)

  • Tilt-to-pour Uccello kettle – £49.96 plus VAT. 
  • Unbreakable mug – £5.90 plus VAT with lid, £3.95 plus VAT without. 
  • Handycup – £14.66 plus VAT. 
  • Noseycup – £5.99 plus VAT. 
  • Unbreakable glasses – wine glass £4.55 and beer glass £5, both including VAT (no VAT relief). 
  • Find crockery – dining plate £6.95, side plate £4.50 and bowl £5.95, all plus VAT. 
  • Good Grips cutlery – teaspoon £11.66 and knife, fork or dessertspoon each £15.33, all plus VAT. 
  • Henro-grip cutlery – knife, fork or spoon each £11.99 plus VAT. 

As with some other specially designed products, you don’t have to pay VAT on most of these if they’re for use by a person with dementia – tick the box stating you’re eligible for VAT relief at our online shop’s checkout.

Helpful everyday products

We have a great range of products designed to help people with dementia and their carers to be more comfortable in their homes, while supporting independence and safety.

Browse our shop

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I would love to know how the treatment is for people who don’t want to eat, if they’ve been sectioned as a result of not eating or drinking. What is done to try to make them eat once again, what happens to the person with Alzheimer’s during treatment please?

Hi Wendy

Thank you for your questions. We have some useful content on supporting people with their eating and drinking, that you may find helpful.

You can find our page on improving the eating experience for people living with dementia, here:

You may also like to visit our page on useful organisations, who may be able to provide further advice on eating and drinking for people living with dementia:

Overall, it will be about trying as best as possible to assist someone and convince them to eat and drink. There may an underlying reason as to why someone is refusing and this should be considered, as knowing this can help to find a solution.

Please also know that we are here for you if you need support.

You can always call our support line on 0333 150 3456 to speak with one of our trained dementia advisers. They will listen to you and provide specific information, advice and support that's relevant to your situation. You can find more details about the support line (including opening hours and other methods of contact) here:

We also passed on your question about whether people are usually sectioned as a result of not eating and drinking to our knowledge team, who told us: 

There are very strict criteria for when the Mental Health Act can apply to someone, and as the Act itself is so restrictive on a person and their freedoms it should only be used as a last resort where other methods to get the treatment or assessment needed have failed. 

To apply the Mental Health Act, someone must have a mental ‘disorder’ (which is the wording of the Act/law in this area) and the needs must arise due to this. Dementia is classed under this law as being a mental 'disorder' – but the needs must arise due to the person’s dementia.

The second part of the criteria is that the situation/needs must have developed to such a point that the person is at risk to themselves or others. The Act is a high threshold, so before it can be simply said ‘they’re at risk as they are not eating’ other methods have to be considered, and only where someone is severally at risk can the Mental Health Act be considered. Two doctors will have to assess someone to see if they reach the threshold for being placed under a section of the Act. 

Therefore, depending on the circumstances, the risks involved and what has been tried, the Act may be used as a way of getting someone the assessment and treatment they need, but only if someone meets the criteria, and a lot of other things should be happening first.


We hope this is useful and that it helps for now, Wendy.

Alzheimer's Society blog team

Thank you SO much. I’ve asked for evidence of her food and drink offerings and intake, plus a llist of her medications and when they were offered.