Franklin VFW Post #1835 recently provided a gift to the Northwest Hospital Foundation to improve the quality of life for disabled patients.
“Sometimes it’s not simply a question of what’s for dinner. It’s how dinner will be eaten,” said Theresa Edder, Executive Director of the non-profit foundation that supports the UPMC Northwest Hospital.
“People with eating disabilities caused by stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or other disabling changes can now take advantage of adaptive feeding equipment at UPMC Northwest Hospital, which can be a key component of an effective nutrition plan.”
Working with Matthew Gaertner, Commander of the Franklin VFW Post, the Foundation received a $1,000 donation to purchase adaptive feeding equipment that helps Northwest Hospital patients achieve an improved quality of life. UPMC Northwest has had up to four patients a week benefiting from these tools.
“Things we might take for granted, as simple as food staying on a spoon. These utensils make a difference. They assist where hands might have limited grip or mobility,” said Connie McIntyre, UPMC Northwest Hospital Food Service Manager. “Our occupational and physical therapy staff are thrilled with the new adaptive eating equipment.”
Adaptive feeding equipment comes in various forms to serve different needs. The modified cups, dishes, and utensils come in bright colors to make food more visible and appealing, help to stimulate the appetite, improve food intake, and promote dining independence and dignity.
“If a patient’s hand will not bend, the utensil can be adjusted to fit their grip. These tools can help improve the nutritional status of patients with feeding disabilities. They improve overall health and can shorten the length of stay,” said McIntyre.
“The Franklin VFW has a long history of supporting the hospital. It’s through generous donations like this that make a big difference for the patients and their quality of living,” said Edder. “Gifts like this underscore how vital our donors are to our success.”