"Courageous care partners recharge with self-care, striving for peaceful pinnacles
in patience, persistence, and positive 
changes, knowing when to conquer and when to comfort."

Simple Solutions for Complex Problems

Aug 13, 2019 by Eileen Adler

As defined by Merriam Webster a gimbal is “a device that permits a body to incline freely in any direction or suspends it so that it will remain level when its support is tipped” whereby an item may move but its orientation is parallel to the horizon. My experience with this was on my father’s boat where his compass was suspended in such a way that it always kept the correct directional orientation. All well and good if you’re on a boat and the water is rocking back and forth but what happens when you’re in dry dock and you’re the one rocking and rolling; this is called a tremor. A conundrum: drinking from a cup with a tremor is problematic; the hands begin their involuntary movements, the liquid spills, apologies follow, or the drink is forsaken. 

There are cups and eating utensils that apply the gimbal concept but Mileha’s design intrigued me. To maintain the dignity of our care receiver, we can’t hand them a baby’s sippy cup, the one with the plastic top that has a slot for liquid to go through. Straws help but who’s going to drink hot coffee or wine with a straw?  

Mileha Soneji passionately shared her solution for her uncle’s tremorous hand resulting from Parkinson’s disease. She explained that the cup she created compliments the dignity of an adult, adding further that “it looks like a cup that could be used by you, me, any clumsy person, and that makes it much more comforting for them to use.” I contacted Mileha but the cups are not available yet as she is still working on her journey to production. "Technology is not always it," she says. "What we need are human-centered solutions."

If you would like more information: http://nospill.weebly.com/about.html. Her March 2016 TED Talk, “Simple Hacks for life with Parkinson’s” can be found here: https://www.ted.com/speakers/mileha_soneji.