People who struggle with arthritis in their fingers, hands and wrists and have trouble gripping saucepans have been given a welcome boost by 21 year old student Emma Bucknell.
Emma has helped arthritis sufferers obtain a degree of comfort and increased independence in their daily lives by designing a saucepan that can be lifted by using the strength of the arm, rather than the hand.
The saucepan avoids the need for painful gripping by the simple expedient of having a plastic loop on one side so that a hand can slide through it. On the other side is a spherical handle that can be held easily by the other hand. This has the effect of evenly balancing the weight of the saucepan and reducing the pressure on fingers and joints.
Emma is a product design student from Nottingham Trent University, and she has seen first hand how disabling arthritis can be.
She said, “I know from my grandparents that arthritis is a painful and uncomfortable condition. My Nan struggles with lifting saucepans so I took the opportunity to find a solution to help them.”
During her research she discovered that traditional long-handled saucepans can be a real problem for people with arthritis or who have a weak grip, because the hand has to form an unnatural position while holding on. So she set herself the task of designing something that could overcome that.
In addition to its arthritis-friendly loop and handle, Emma’s saucepan is made from aluminium, so it is relatively lightweight, and the handle comes in a range of different sizes to fit most size of hand.
She added, “I can see that arthritis does not just affect a person with its painful symptoms, it affects their whole life. What many people would see as a simple task, can become difficult and sometimes impossible for those with the condition.
“This can destroy independence; the one thing elderly and retired people desire to keep.”
James Dale, principle lecturer in product design at Nottingham Trent University, agreed. He said, “Emma has seen first hand how difficult it can be for people with arthritis to carry out tasks such as cooking and she has used this experience to create a product that could improve people’s confidence and independence.”
Emma’s saucepan was on show at the University’s degree show earlier this month.