Honouring the elderly
Patra introduces a crockery line making life easier for senior citizens
With Thailand predicted to become a fully-fledged aged society, Patra, a leading manufacturer of high-end porcelain and bone china tableware, has released the new collection called Honour for senior citizens and hospitalised patients with physical limitations.
Following its brand slogan "We Make Good Life Possible", Patra conducted a four-year study on crockery for hospital and home use.
Previously, it was found that the elderly encountered various health problems contributing to movement dysfunction such as low visual indication, tremors and muscle rigidity. These physical conditions eventually ruin their mental health, including loss of appetite as well as independence. Apparently, the Honour collection is an ideal solution to all elderly dietary problems.
The holding rim of the bowl is easy to grip. (Photo: Ore Huiying)
"With increasing age, elders suffer from muscle weakness or other diseases that affect movement like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. They can't support themselves when picking up spoons or holding cups so we want to return their honour. We worked with universities and hospitals to develop prototypes. Our products were tested with hospitalised patients and finally, we got this collection that meets all their needs," said Pattarin Polperm, the product designer.
According to World Bank, 11% of the Thai population in 2016, or about 7.5 million citizens, were over 65. By 2040, around 17 million Thai people will be older than 65.
"Thailand is rapidly reaching an ageing society so we must ensure our readiness to strengthen and develop ways for the elderly to have a better quality of life," said Raymond Han, Patra's managing director.
Plate covers can be used as a lid and an extra plate for food, including a coaster for a bowl or mug. (Photo: Ore Huiying)
He stressed that those elderly "used to look after us and now, it's time for us to look after them".
"We should look at the elderly and see their potential. However, in order to reach that point, we must assist these seniors to build confidence in themselves by providing them with support through technology and utilities as well as their daily necessities, so they can be proud that they can take care of themselves.
"This is the reason we created Honour."
The Honour collection in white porcelain. (Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ)
With an assistive and functional design, Patra's latest collection of porcelain tableware has 12 items, featuring ergonomic mugs suitable for both right- and left-handed people, curved plates for effortless scooping, and stackable bowls with multi-purpose lids in four colour sets.
Pattarin said that her team selected white porcelain as this colour "makes our products clean and easy to use".
Other colour options include blue, yellow and red. Apart from table decoration, this difference in colours is highly beneficial to hospitals as nurses can select one for infectious patient use. However, "some customers keep thinking our selection is based on primary colours. It is not like that. Red and yellow increase appetite, while blue is suitable for users with visual impairment", the designer said.
All covers have foot locks that allow for easy, neat and secure stacking on a tray. (Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ)
Meanwhile, all plate and bowl covers have foot stacks, which allows for easy, secure and neat stacking. Caregivers and waiters can serve their patients and senior clients with many stackable dishes on a tray or on a trolley. This lock function minimises storage space and each container's portion size perfectly fits in the tray slot.
Moreover, lids can be used as an extra plate for desserts and fruits or a coaster for a bowl. They also have a unique spill-proof feature that prevents the elderly from spilling when scooping their soup or rice.
Pattarin further explained that this is Thailand's first porcelain product specially designed for old people at hospitals and retirement homes since "this kind of product is not really available in the market" and similar items "are usually made of plastic, which is less durable and hygienic than porcelain".
The anti-spill rim of the bowl is raised with a narrow ridge. (Photo: PHILIPPE LOPEZ)
In fact, this white, shiny material has a higher level of heat resistance and density with lower porosity than plastic. The Honour collection "is completely bacteria-free, scratch-resistant and microwave-friendly. And, it will reduce plastic usage to prevent climate change", she said.