Making drinks is something that most people take for granted… for me (Dave), this is just another thing that I have to really concentrate on and have strategies to help with the task.
With my sight continuing to deteriorate, I have to adapt my strategies further or find alternative solutions. Several months ago I finally accepted that I needed extra help with making hot drinks. I was beginning to spill or overfill the mugs with either hot water or milk and making a right old mess on the worktop. So, I dug out a Christmas present that Kelly (my wife) had bought me several Christmases ago that I had refused to use at that point (yes I am stubborn at times) and started to use it.
The gadget, probably one of the simplest and easiest to use, is called a liquid level indicator. They are often supplied for free by local authorities or can be purchased from places such as the RNIB for around £10. The one that I have is an audio and vibrating one but you can get just an audio one that doesn’t vibrate.
The idea is that you hang the indicator over the side of the mug with the metal prongs inside the mug. As you fill the cup/mug/glass, the device will vibrate slowly and give off a beep when the liquid reaches the first level of the prongs. When you continue to fill the vessel, the device will vibrate faster and the beeps beep faster when the liquid reaches the top prong indicating that the vessel is full. You lift off the device to stop the vibrating and beeping.
The indicators have a magnet inside them so can be attached to a fridge door or other magnetic device so that they are easy to locate when you need them.
Watch the video to see how they work…
Other simple things that you can try to aid with this task are:
To use mugs that have a white inside. For someone with some vision, seeing a dark liquid (tea or coffee for example) filling up inside the mug against the white walls might help.
Placing the vessel on a contrasting surface might also help with identifying or defining the vessel further. Some people like to use a tray for this providing a dual purpose - not only giving a different colour contrast but also catching spills if they happen.
Using a kettle that has a good spout can make a big difference (some have lips on the end that enable you to feel when the spout connects with the edge of the vessel). Alternatively, there are some hot water dispensers that dispense 1 cup of water at a time; these are particularly useful for people that struggle to lift a kettle.
You can still buy kettle tippers; a metal cage type device that the kettle sits in that swings on hinges making the kettle easy to tip and pour. The down side to these is that you have to be sure where your cup is before you tip or you could easily miss! Also, not all kettles fit so you’ll have to find an appropriate kettle for the task.
And for some people, getting someone else to make the drinks works best!
Vicky – the only thing to add to this that Dave hasn’t mentioned is even with the above gadgets, it might depend on which kitchen you are in. So, when we’re working from Dave’s house, we tend to share drink making (not on a strict rota basis, just as and when either of us thinks about it!). But if we are out providing training, or even in the office kitchen that is shared between colleagues, making hot drinks is something I would do. This is because in an unfamiliar place, making drinks with unfamiliar equipment is just not practical and in a shared kitchen things get moved around a lot which makes it nigh on impossible for Dave to feel confident that he’s going to be able to locate items or not knock something over that someone else has left on the side.
[Video shows the liquid level indicator positioned on the side of a glass, with 3 metal prongs pointing down into the glass on the inside. Water is then poured into the glass. As the water level reaches the first prongs of the liquid level, the indicator starts to beep. As more water is poured in and the level reaches the highest prong, the indicator starts to beep and vibrate.
The end slide of the film shows the VIDA Training logo and the website address – www.vidatraining.co.uk]
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.